一部《绯闻女孩》,让更多人了解纽约富裕家庭青少年令人羡慕的生活——开心?买买买!不开心?买买买!!!平时住着豪宅,上学开着豪车,令人眼花缭乱的各种高级party,各种精美的华服,就连参加的高中课外活动也是各种高大上……
作为全世界最繁华、最富裕的城市之一,纽约上流社会的高中生是如何看待金钱的?是不是真的像电视剧那样,花钱如流水?
近年来,很多生活在纽约的华裔家庭,摆脱了之前只能开中餐馆谋生的刻板形象,越来越多的华裔富裕家庭入住到纽约的富人区,那么,作为华裔移民,他们的子女是如何看待金钱的呢?
《纽约时报》每年都会征集高中生大学申请文书,其中,就有一篇来自纽约长岛富人区的华裔女孩Yorana Wu。Yorana从小成长在长岛的北岸Great Neck,这里是纽约最富裕的地区之一,也是全美最好的学区之一,豪宅林立,名校汇集,是妥妥的富人区。
Yorana在自己申请芝加哥大学的文书里,讲述了作为一名华裔后代,家庭的金钱观是如何影响自己的,以及自己如何体会爸爸赚钱的辛苦和为家庭的付出。通读整个文章中,你会发现华裔特有的金钱观念和勤俭节约的美德对我们移民后代的深远影响:即使成长在西方,“细水长流,遇灾不愁”的传统依然一代代地传承下去。
注:为了让大家更加有效地借鉴和学习优秀文书,我们保留了英文原文,并且加入了中文译文,以便大家更好地理解。译文为意译,并非直译,比如会将文中的富二代财富的象征“银汤匙”改为华人更便于理解的含着“金汤匙”,以更贴近我们的阅读习惯
美国富人区华裔女孩的金钱观
作者:Yorana Wu
毕业学校:Great Neck South High School
申请院校:芝加哥大学
Yorana Wu在自家房子前(图片来源《纽约时报》)
Weekends growing up were spent hitting tennis balls with my coach, sketching still lives at a local art studio and practicing the violin with my private teacher. My parents endorsed my interests because we had financial security that most families in America didn't. I'm thankful that this wealth also allows me to live in one of the most affluent suburbs of New York and attend one of its best public schools, where it's not uncommon to see my peers driving to school in a Mercedes-Benz.
译文:在我的成长过程中,几乎每个周末都是这样度过的:和教练一起打网球,在当地的艺术工作室写生,和我的私人老师一起练小提琴。我的父母非常支持我的这些兴趣爱好,因为我们家拥有比较雄厚的经济基础和物质保障,而这是多数美国家庭不具备的。我很感激自己家能够拥有这些财富,这些财富让我可以住在纽约城郊最富裕区之一,就读当地最好的公立学校。在我们学校,经常可以看到开着奔驰来上学的学生。
Even though I can buy glamorous things because of my family's wealth, I've never felt comfortable spending it. Some girls in my school frivolously spend their money – at the local Abercrombie, they'll point to a shirt they like and swipe their cards without batting an eyelash at the price. I use my money differently because of how I was raised. I make a beeline to the discount sections at higher-end retailers to find trendy garments and resell them on eBay to make a profit covering next semester's art supplies.
译文:因为家境富裕,我有能力买各种光鲜亮丽又精美的东西,但我对这样花钱感到很不自在。在我的学校,经常有一些女同学很随意地花钱来购买自己喜欢的东西,比如去当地的Abercrombie店,只要看到喜欢的衣服,她们连价签看也不看,就毫不犹豫地刷卡买下。因为家庭对我的教育和影响,我的花钱方式和多数同龄人不太一样。我会直接去高端零售商的店面,然后寻找那些时髦漂亮的打折衣服,再放在eBay转卖,这样赚到的利润就可以用来买我下学期艺术课的必需品了。
Many of my peers were fed since birth with a silver spoon, not giving a second thought to the family wealth at their disposal. I like to think I use my spoon sparingly, feeding myself only when necessary. I dislike spending my parents' money because I didn't earn any of it. I appreciate my parents endorsing my interests like violin because these hobbies are enriching, but I'm discomfited when they pay for superficial things like name-brand clothing. I'm fine just wearing thrifted shirts and discounted sneakers. I suppose it's because my mother raised me to embody a Chinese proverb that translates to "save when financially stable because the future is unknown."
译文:我周围很多的同龄人是含着金汤匙出生的,从小衣食无忧,花钱很随意,不会多加考虑。但我觉得自己很少随意花家里的钱,只有真的需要的时候才会花。我不喜欢花父母的钱,因为这些钱都不是我赚的。我很感激父母对我兴趣爱好的支持,比如学小提琴,因为这些爱好我的生活变得非常丰富。但是,如果他们把钱花在一些比较肤浅的地方,比如购买名牌服饰,我就觉得这种花费没什么意义。我觉得穿便宜的衣服和运动鞋没什么不好的。我想这是受到妈妈的影响,从小,她就用一句中国谚语告诉我:“细水长流,遇灾不愁”(趁财务稳定的时候存钱,以便抵御将来未知的风险)
At a young age, I was forced to understand what came at the price of that wealth: time with my father. When I was 8, he left to build his own canned fruits company in China. That was the first year a seat at the dinner table remained empty and a car in the garage sat untouched. Suddenly, our relationship became two five-minute phone calls per week. He'll see my brother and me only for a quarter of the year – just the equivalent of a season spent together. He couldn't come to my brother's high school graduation, and during school orchestra concerts I would take a hopeful glance at the audience to see only my mother's face in the crowd. However, he’s the reason I have a silver spoon that allows me to scoop more than just canned peaches. If he hadn't followed his ambitions, we would still be a close-knit family living in a smaller home, but maybe then thrift shopping would be mandatory instead of voluntary.
译文:很小的时候,我就懂得获得这些家庭财富的代价是什么——我们失去了和父亲相处的家庭时光,爸爸不得不缺席我们的成长。他离开我们去中国建立水果罐头公司。从此以后,家里的餐桌上总有一个位置是空的,而车库里也总停着一辆闲置的汽车。突然之间,我们和爸爸的关系变成了每周打两次五分钟的电话,一年中爸爸只有四分之一的时间(相当于一个季节的时间)可以见到我们兄妹俩。爸爸不能来参加哥哥的高中毕业典礼。而我,在学校管弦乐队演出的时候,满怀期待地望向观众,希望可以看到爸爸的身影,然而,却只看到妈妈一个人的面庞。爸爸努力赚钱,是希望给我更好的经济基础,让我的人生可以有更多的选择。倘若爸爸当初没有选择为自己的事业而奋斗,那么我们依然会是亲密的一家人,只是住在一所小房子里。但是,如果这样的话,“节约”就会成为我们必做的功课,而不是自愿去做的。
My love and appreciation for my father makes me honor the money he provides me with – every dollar comes at the expense of his physical distance. When my father comes to visit, he offers to buy me the newest iPhone or drive me to Bloomingdale's because of the guilt he feels for not being with us. I accept his offer sparingly because I don't want him to think of me as someone who asks for more than what I need. While everyone in school has been toting the newest iPhone since ninth grade, I took his used phone, giving up 24/7 Internet access – I didn't need to check Facebook every minute. Although I enjoy the security afforded me by his success, it doesn't diminish my determination to build a future with my own bare hands. When I leave the silver spoon too long in my mouth, I feel this nagging itch telling me to remove it, as if I'm allergic to silver. If the spoon's used sparingly, I can avoid an outbreak. But I don't mind my allergy. I embrace it because it reminds me that everything comes at a price – even silver spoons.
译文:我对爸爸充满了爱和感激,珍惜他赚来的每一分钱——因为这些钱都是用他牺牲与家人的相处时光而换来的。当爸爸回来看我的时候,会给我买最新款的苹果手机,或者带我去Bloomingdale's百货给我买东西,因为他对不能陪伴我们而感到内疚。我会有节制地接受爸爸的礼物,因为我不希望他认为我是那种贪婪的孩子。从9年级开始,学校里每个人都开始用最新款的苹果手机,但我依然在用老爸的二手手机,虽然这种旧手机不能像其他同学那样随时随地上网——但这有什么关系呢?我又不需要每分钟就看一眼Facebook。虽然我很享受爸爸为我们打拼来的一切,但这不会让我放弃靠自己双手创造更好未来的决心。父辈的打拼给予了我们财富的积累,给了我们优越生活的“金汤勺”。但是,这个汤勺含得久了会让我觉得有一种挥之不去的瘙痒,想要把它拿掉,就像我对汤勺金属过敏一样。如果我尽量少使用父母给我的汤匙,我就能避免这种不适的感觉。但另一方面,我也不介意这种瘙痒的感觉,因为它时时提醒着我:一切的获得都是需要代价的 ,哪怕是父母为你铸造的金汤匙。
注:本素材及图片来自于《纽约时报》
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