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中国公园里的“黄昏恋”
China’s Seniors, Looking for Love, Head to the Park

来源:纽约时报    2019-12-26 03:46



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        BEIJING — Zhao Lin had become accustomed to the single life. But his days and nights were growing lonely, and he decided it was time to find Ms. Right.        北京——赵林已经习惯了单身生活。但是日复一日,他感到越来越孤独,决定是时候该找个伴了。
        That’s how the 78-year-old ended up at the park.        这就是这位78岁的老人来到这座公园的原因。
        “I have been looking for more than a year,” said Mr. Zhao, a fixture at one of the dozens of senior singles scenes popping up in public parks around China. So far, he admits, the pickings have been slim.        “找了有一年多了,”赵林说。在中国各地的公园里,冒出很多单身老人相亲角,他是其中一个的常客。他承认,到目前为止,收获甚微。
        “It’s usually one conversation and that’s it,” said Mr. Zhao, a widower since 1971, in a lament familiar to frustrated singles no matter their age. “There’s no second time. They’ll let you down and there’s no hope. So what’s the point?”        “但是聊一回就完事,”1971年太太去世后一直单身的赵林,像任何年纪的受挫单身人士那样感叹道。“那第二回都不会再(有),你就没有一点希望,有什么意义?”
        Three decades of economic growth and social change have transformed attitudes of love and sex among China’s elderly. Increasingly single and assertive, the country’s lonely seniors are on the market.        30年来的经济增长和社会变革改变了中国老人的爱情观和性观念。单身老人越来越多,也越来越自信,这个国家的孤寡老人开始走入婚恋市场。
        In Chinese media, the phenomenon has been labeled “twilight love.” Contestants well into their later years now make regular appearances on Chinese dating shows with names like “Peach Blossoms Bloom,” “Exciting Old Friends” and “Holding Hands.” Online chat rooms have emerged for older singles.        在中国的媒体上,这种现象被称为“黄昏恋”。在中国的相亲节目中,如《桃花朵朵开》、《精彩老朋友》和《牵手》,步入晚年的选手频频露面。还出现了单身老人的线上聊天室。
        But in China, none of those venues holds the same appeal as the local park.        但在中国,这些地方都比不上当地的公园。
        In Beijing, the elderly have picked Changpuhe and the Temple of Heaven. The southwestern municipality of Chongqing has a “matchmaking corner” in Hongyadong Park. In the northern city of Xian, elderly residents gather every Wednesday and Saturday at Revolution Park.        在北京,老年人选择去菖蒲河和天坛。在西南城市重庆的洪崖洞公园有一个“相亲角”。在北方城市西安,老年居民每周三和周六聚集在革命公园。
        “My American colleagues, when they go to China, they are amazed at how many people are socializing in a park,” said Bei Wu, director of global health and aging research at New York University, who has studied China’s elderly for 30 years.        “当我的美国同事去中国时,他们惊讶于公园里有那么多人在社交,”纽约大学全球健康与老龄化研究负责人吴蓓说。她对中国老年人进行了30年的研究。
        “It’s a practical way for a group gathering,” Dr. Wu said. “In the park, you can increase the chance of having successful blind dates.”        “这种聚会方式很实用,”吴蓓说。“在公园里,你可以增加成功相亲的机会。”
        Demographics is behind it all.        这一切的背后是人口结构。
        An aging population means more people are outliving their spouses. The number of widows and widowers totals nearly 48 million, according to a study by the government research group Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The group projects that number will rise to 118.4 million by 2050.        人口老龄化意味着越来越多的人比配偶长寿。根据政府研究机构中国社会科学院的一项研究,寡妇和鳏夫加起来的总数接近4800万。该机构预计,到2050年,这一数字将增加到1.184亿。
        And four out of five widows and widowers want to remarry, according to the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, citing a survey by Chinese Academy of Sciences.        中国共产党的官方报纸《人民日报》援引中国科学院的一项调查显示,每5名寡妇或鳏夫中有4名愿意再婚。
        Others are choosing to leave their spouses. In Beijing, nearly one-third of divorce cases were filed by people aged 60 to 70, according to the Beijing Evening News.        还有人选择离开配偶。据《北京晚报》报道,在北京,近三分之一的离婚案是由60至70岁的人提出的。
        The growing population of elderly singles has public health implications. H.I.V. infection rates are rising among elderly Chinese because many do not practice safe sex, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases among Chinese men aged 60 and older have nearly tripled since 2012, it said.        老年单身人口的增加对公共卫生也产生了影响。根据中国疾病预防控制中心的信息,许多中国老年人未对性行为采取保护措施,导致艾滋病感染率的上升。该机构说,中国60岁及以上男性的感染病例几乎是2012年的三倍。
        In October, the central government announced separate policy measures for the elderly to strengthen AIDS prevention education.        10月,中央政府宣布了单独针对老年人的政策措施,加强艾滋病的预防教育。
        That lack of knowledge is understandable. When China’s elders were young, talking about sex was taboo. People met their prospective spouses through friends or matchmakers. Dating was almost unheard-of.        缺乏知识是可以理解的。中国的老年人在年轻时,性是不能谈论的禁忌。人们通过朋友或媒人认识未来的伴侣。约会几乎是闻所未闻。
        In China’s parks, that can make for awkward scenes. On a recent Tuesday in Changpuhe, a strip of greenery next to the Forbidden City, elderly men clustered together, scoping out the women and men milling around like wallflowers. Several of them strolled up and down, waiting to make eye contact with women.        在中国的公园里,这可能会造成尴尬的场面。最近的一个周二,在紫禁城旁边绿树成荫的菖蒲河,老年男性们聚集在一起,仔细观察像壁花一样徜徉的男男女女。其中的几个人走来走去,等待与女性的目光接触。
        An elderly man sat next to a woman in a purple jacket for a few minutes. Then, he leaned in to ask: “How old are you?”        一名老年男性在一位穿紫色外套的女性身旁坐了几分钟。然后,他靠近她问:“你多大了?”
        “Seventy-two,” she answered in a soft voice. Minutes later, they struck up a conversation.        “72岁,”她轻声回答。几分钟后,他们聊了起来。
        Many complained of some unique, only-in-China criteria for finding a mate. Pensions and health insurance can enhance attractiveness, for example, in a country where getting cancer can lead to bankruptcy.        许多人抱怨一些中国特有的择偶标准。比如,在这个罹患癌症可能导致破产的国家,养老金和医疗保险可以增加吸引力。
        The widowed were more desirable than the divorced, said some. Less emotional baggage, they explained.        一些人说,丧偶的比离婚的受欢迎。他们解释说,前者的情感负担较少。
        “Looking For A Soulmate,” read a wrinkled brown sheet of paper stuck on a rock under the trees, one of several ads placed around the park. “Male. Born in 1949. Divorced. No responsibilities.”        “觅知音”,树下的石头上一张皱皱巴巴的棕色纸上写道,公园里还有几张类似的广告。“男,49生人,离异无负担。”
        The sign was written by a Mr. Li, whose wish list for a wife was that she be roughly 5 feet tall, weigh between 130 to 150 pounds, be between 50 to 60 years old and have unblemished skin. “No black moles,” it warned.        这是一位李先生写的,他对妻子的期望是1米5左右,体重在60至70公斤之间,年龄在50至60岁之间,皮肤无暇。上面警告:“皮肤上无黑痣”。
        In return, Mr. Li promised to bequeath his 1,100-square-foot apartment to any woman “willing to accompany me till the end of my life.”        作为回报,李先生答应将自己100平方米的公寓留给任何“陪伴我由始至终”的人。
        Another advertisement placed by a male suitor pledged a life of travel and a commitment to buy property in the southeast coast of China, the United States and Japan.        另一位男性求婚者的广告则许诺游山玩水的生活,还承诺在中国东南沿海、美国和日本买房。
        Guan Yongnian, an 82-year-old divorced man, sees himself as a catch. He is healthy and successful, a calligraphy expert, a writer and a teacher of tai chi, a gentle form of martial arts popular in China.        82岁的离异男子关永年认为自己的条件不错。他身体健康、事业有成,是书法家、作家和太极拳老师。太极拳是在中国流行的一种柔和的武术形式。
        Mr. Guan said that in the past 30 years, friends have tried to introduce other women to him. He married in his 20s, and has two daughters in their 50s, and a son, who is nearly 60.        关先生说,在过去的30年里,朋友们一直在给他介绍对象。他20多岁结婚,现在两个女儿年过半百,一个儿子也年近六旬。
        Mr. Guan’s list of requirements for his future wife: ideally in her 40s — yes, half his age — hygienic, smart, capable and “not unreasonable.” Other pluses: if she could “bring spiritual relief and happiness.”        关先生有一串择偶标准:最好是40多岁(是的,年龄是他的一半),讲卫生、聪明、能干,而且“不会又不讲理”。其他的加分项:如果“能带来精神的解脱和愉快”就更好了。
        But Mr. Guan’s expectations were low. “Nowadays, many people are not hygienic, dress poorly and are not imbued with sophistication and good breeding,” he sniffed.        但关先生并不抱太大希望。“现在这人都不讲卫生,穿得很差,很没内在的修养,”他嗤之以鼻地说。
        He had scanned the crowd for close to an hour and was not planning on making the first move.        他四处打量近一个小时,并不打算采取进一步行动。
        “I have a problem: When you call me, I don’t call back,” said Mr. Guan, who was dressed in a brown trench coat. “I’m pretty unreasonable. You have to chase me.”        “我有一个毛病,给我打电话,我不带回的,”身穿棕色风衣的关先生说。“我不讲理,你得追我,说白了吧。”
        A woman wearing pink lipstick and dressed in a yellow coat lingered in front of Mr. Guan, curious at the sight of him being interviewed.        一个擦着粉红色口红、身穿黄色外套的女士在关先生面前逗留,对他接受采访感到好奇。
        “How old are you now? 50s? 60s?” Mr. Guan asked.        “你现在多大了?50多?60多?”关先生问道。
        “60s,” she giggled.        “60多,”她笑着说。
        “See?” he said. “I guessed right.”        “看见没?”他说,“我猜对了。”
        The woman was Han Shuping. She was actually 52. Divorced, she had been coming to Changpuhe for two years. A man flicked her hair before she playfully swatted him away.        这位女士叫韩书平。她其实52岁。离异,来菖蒲河公园已经两年了。一个男人轻拂她的头发,她开玩笑地将他挡开。
        “Most of the characters here are pretty bad,” Ms. Han said. “The old men would ask you out for a meal, invite you back to their place and try to get you in bed.”        “大部分人品太差了,”韩女士说。“老头就立马就想跟你几乎都是,就是比如说吃顿饭,或者约你去他家,都想给人干上床。”
        Originally from central Henan Province, Ms. Han said she was honest with prospective suitors, telling them she is from the countryside and has no pension.        韩女士来自中部的河南省,她说她对交往对象很诚实,会告诉他们自己来自农村,没有退休金。
        Ms. Han said she wanted to “find someone who I can chat with and then develop feelings for.”        韩女士说,她想“俩人家聊天去聊天,就是觉得互相喜欢,慢慢产生感情”。
        “At this stage, love at first sight is impossible,” she said.        “你说这岁数一见钟情,我觉得不可能,”她说。
        She was pessimistic about her prospects.        她对自己的前景感到悲观。
        “It is very hard to find someone here,” Ms. Han said. “The genuine ones are few and far between.”        “反正就是在这里都不好找,”韩女士说。“真正成的极少极少。”
        Mr. Zhao, the 78-year-old widower, agreed. He bemoaned the directness of some of the women.        78岁的鳏夫赵先生对此表示赞同。他感叹,有些女人太直接。
        “They want a house, car and money,” said Mr. Zhao, who was tall, bespectacled and stylishly dressed in a beige pageboy cap. “They ask you directly to change the names in the property deed. It’s the first thing they say. Isn’t that terrifying?”        “要房子、要车、要钱,”赵先生说。他高高的个子,戴着眼镜和米色的鸭舌帽,打扮得很时髦。“来了就直接你把房本能改了吗?一见面就先提这个,那真挺可怕的是吧?”
        But he still longed for a mate to ward off his loneliness. “It gets miserable,” he said.        但他仍然渴望有个伴来排遣寂寞。“另外挺惨的,”他说。
        Mr. Zhao talked about “three treasures in this life” — to have someone know when “you’re cold or warm, in pain or in despair.”        赵先生谈到“人活这一世上有三大宝”——“一个是有人知冷知热,这是一个,有人知你疾苦,有人知你心里难受。”
        “If you’ve never experienced these three big treasures, how can you understand what is bliss? What is pain?” Mr. Zhao said. “This is what I’m feeling right now. But I never used to feel like that.”        “这三大宝,你不懂这三大宝,你怎么理解人生什么叫幸福,什么叫痛苦?”赵先生说。“我就现在特别感觉这样,我原来我没感觉到。”
                
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