|English to Chinese: Deaths in the Family|
General field: Art/Literary
Detailed field: Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.
|Source text - English|
Family obligations were part of the Chinese culture that I consistently fought against. Since one couldn’t argue against values accepted by over a billion people for thousands of years, I tend to take the cowardly but expedient way out. For instance, I would arrange to attend a conference somewhere else when some member of the family got married. I would leave the city rather than be involved with birthdays, weddings, funerals, or visiting relatives. Unlike my mother, who truly believes that blood is thicker than water and no strangers can ever play a more important role in one’s life than one’s relatives, I find my extended families, maternal and paternal, complete strangers with whom I cannot hold a prolonged and meaningful conversation. My knowledge of my relationship to them — Chinese culture has very elaborate ways of tabulating familial relationships, and there are specific terms for someone who is the second son of the second son of one’s paternal grandfather — is always vague.
|Translation - Chinese|