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文化冲突:加拿大华裔数代同堂的家庭矛盾

受中国传统文化影响, 很多中国老人飘洋过海来到国外,与子女同住。但随着数代同堂的家庭在亚洲社区剧增,移民与老人之间出现的经济矛盾也日益加剧。这些矛盾导致家庭分裂,使家庭成员的生活备受影响。
 
Many Chinese immigrants live with their senior parents in Canada, due to their cultural traditions. As multigenerational families are increasingly prevalent in the Asian communities, financial disputes between adult children and their senior parents escalate,as described in this story. The disputes break family bonds, wreaking havoc on the life of many immigrants.
 
你的家庭是否也面临同样困境?我们希望你能与《大中报》分享你的家庭经历,或成功经验。
 
Is your family facing the similar struggles? We hope you can share with us your personal experiences or success stories.
 
据《洛杉矶时报》2014年1月14日报道,41岁的美国华裔李晓琳(Xiaolin Li,译音),在她的阿卡迪亚的家中因遭多处刀伤而死亡。就在同一天,和她住在一起的公公,68岁的美国华裔朱力(Li Zhu,译音),被指控犯有谋杀罪。被关进洛杉矶监狱的三天后,朱力在狱中自杀死身亡。
 
On Jan. 14, 2014, Li, Xiaolin, a 41-year-old Chinese American was found dead of multiple stab wounds in her Arcadia home, according to L.A. Times. On the same day, her father in law, Li Zhu, a 68-year-old Chinese American who lived with his son’s family, was charged with murder. Three days later, he was found dead of an apparent suicide in a L.A. jail.

图片来自网络,与本文无关

 
据媒体报道, 朱力的杀人动机似乎与家庭财产争执有关。朱力曾因美国住不惯,想回到中国老家生活,但当他发现儿子和儿媳将他在中国的房产卖掉,使他回中国养老没了窝,老人气愤不已。在他苦苦要钱的央求遭到拒绝后,心灰意冷的朱力才采取了极不理智的手段,以致最终摧毁了整个家庭,造成了无法挽回的结局。
 
According to media report, the motive appears to be related to an on-going dispute over family assets.  Zhu, who had wanted to return to his hometown, was shocked to find that his family home in China had been sold by his son and daughter-in-law. After his desperate plea for money was turned down, the frustrated Zhu took the extreme action that has caused irreversible damage and destroyed the family.
 
虽然这样的事件是极其罕见的,但是家庭成员之间的冲突,特别是老年人与成年子女之间的冲突在北美的中国移民中是相当普遍的。与白种人或其他少数族裔不同的是,多代同堂的大家族在亚裔社区极其普遍。从中国举家移民定居北美后,许多移民家庭都邀请年迈的父母来加同住,希望通过家庭团聚能尽一个女儿或儿子的孝道。
 
While such incidents are rare, the underlying conflict among family members – between seniors and their adult children — are quite common amongst Chinese immigrants in North America. Unlike Caucasian or other ethnic minorities, big families –with multiple generations living under the same roof – are prevalent in Asian communities. After uprooting from China and settling in North America, many immigrants invite their senior parents to live with them, hoping through family reunification, they can fulfill their responsibilities as daughters and sons.
 
然而,常常事与愿违,良好的意愿未能达成良好的结局。事实上,家庭矛盾和纠纷经常出现在那些多代同堂的家庭里。当然,大多数矛盾的焦点都是为钱。
 
However, good intentions do not always generate good outcomes. In fact, family conflicts and disputes frequently arise in those multi-generation families.  And of course, most of these disputes are over money.
 
宋先生是一名IT专业人士。他的父母与他的家人在多伦多生活3年多,但生活现状却远非如其所期望的那样和睦美满。隔三岔五的争吵令这个三代之家频现危机。
 
Mr. Song is an IT professional. His parents have lived with his family in Toronto for over 3 years. But life was nowhere close to what he had expected. Frequent yelling and arguments have often led to family crises.
 
据宋先生表示,他的父母每个月能从政府中获得低保补助,但是他们都把钱放在他们自己的银行户头上,从来没有补贴家用。他们在中国还有一处房产。
 
According to Song, his parents, who own a property in China, collect CIS every month from the government, but they save them all into their bank accounts, never contributing to the expenses of the family.  
 
持中国传统家庭观念的宋表示,说他有义务照顾自己的父母,但是他无法说服他那心怀不满的妻子明。
 
Song says he feels obligated to support his parents due to his Chinese background, but he can’t convince his disgruntled wife Ming.
 
 “凭什么?我的加拿大同事没有一个和他们的公婆住在一起,他们也不认为自己有责任在经济上赡养老人。这就是为什么老人在加拿大可以领取政府补贴。如果老人在家吃白食,岂不成了两边揩油,这难道公平吗?”
 
“Why? None of my Canadian colleagues live with their parents-in-law, and they don’t believe that they have a responsibility to financially support them. That is why they can collect the government subsidies. Isn’t it unfair for your parents to live as free-loaders, seeking benefits from both sides?”says Ming.
 
“在西方文化中,根本没有孝心这种说法!”
“In Western culture, there is no filial piety!”
 
然而,宋先生的父母有他们自己的担忧。他们不想放弃对自己财产的控制权。没有这些家产,一旦回国他们将如何生活。
 
However, Song’s parents have her own concerns. They don’t want to give up a full control over their personal assets, in case they need them if they return to China.
 
“我们当然需要保留自己的一份家业。我可不希望看到朱力家的悲剧有一天会发生在我们身上! ”
 
 “Of course we need to protect our personal assets. I don’t want to see that Zhu’s tragedy would one-day happen to us!”
 
此外,宋先生的父母称他们已经对这个家庭做出足够多的贡献。他们帮助照顾他们的孩子,为家庭做饭和打扫卫生。
 
Besides, Song’s parents claim that they have made enough contributions to this family. They help to take care of their grandchildren, cook meals and clean the house for the family.
 
尽管明一再催促宋先生跟他的父母提出这一家庭财务冲突,宋先生却不愿意这样做。
 
Despite the fact that Ming pushes Song to raise the financial issues with his parents, he is reluctant to do so.
 
“这个话题简直就是一大禁忌。对父母的钱财心存不轨在中国文化中是大逆不道的。”
 
 “The topic is such a big taboo. Setting your heart on your parents’ money is immoral and distasteful in Chinese culture.  
 
但现状令明愈加不满。她寻求一切可能机会与宋先生的父母找茬或口角。因此,叫喊和争吵成为家常便饭,把一个好端端的家庭推向战争的边缘。
 
But that would leave Ming increasingly dissatisfied. She would seek every opportunity to pick a fight or ignite an altercation with Song’s parents. As a result, yelling and fighting has become a family norm, pushing it on the verge of war.
 
宋先生表示,分别从父母和妻子的角度出发,他能理解双方的顾虑和立场。但是,他却不知道如何来解决这个问题。
 
Song says he understands the concerns of both his parents and his wife, if he puts himself in their shoes. However, he doesn’t know how to solve the problem.
 
“看起来解决问题的唯一办法就是请求我的父母回国,但是这个要求这会让我自惭形秽…我从小所接受的教育就是子女有责任照顾好自己的父母,一旦他们回国,我又如何能照顾他们呢?”
 
 “The only solution seems to ask my parents to go back to China, but that would make me guilty as hell… I was raised in the culture that I have a responsibility to take care of my parents — how could I do that if they’re not here with us?”
 
看着一边是饱含泪水的母亲,另一边愤怒不已的妻子,宋感到左右为难,感到倍加沮丧和郁闷。
 
The teary-eyed mother and angry wife often baffle him, making him frustrated and depressed.
 
事实上,宋先生的家庭问题似乎仅是华裔社区里成千上万的家庭问题的冰山一角。
在两种文化冲突中,他们进退两难,渴望能找到解决这令家庭矛盾日益加剧的问题的办法。
 
In fact, Song family’s problem represents the tip of the iceberg of the struggles faced by thousands of Chinese immigrant families. Stuck between a rock and hard places of two different cultures, they are desperate for a solution to the problem that increasingly wreaks havoc on their lives.
 
但除非双方都做出让步,这一问题似乎永无完美的解决方案。
 
But unless comprises are made from both sides, there seems to be no perfect solution.
– See more at: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/17159#sthash.dfk9ag9Z.dpuf
本文发布于: 2014-1-28 10:34
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