A Peculiar Pig – Xiaobo Wang

zhèshì yìpiān sǎnwén,
   这是     一篇     散文 , 
tímù lǐ de zhū hé zhè piān wénzhāng de zuòzhě
题目 里 的  猪   和   这     篇        文章       的    作者 
shēnghuó zài yīgè tèbiéde shídài.
        生活    在   一个 特别的    时代 。 
1950 niándào 1978 nián,
1950    年到     1978  年 , 
zhōngguózhèngfǔ ràng jǐqiānwàn de zhōngguó niánqīngrén
               中国政府      让          几千万    的      中国         年轻人 
dào nóngcūn shēnghuó hé láodòng,
到        农村         生活        和     劳动 , 
ràng tāmen zài láodòng zhōng jiēshòu jiàoyù.
  让     他们    在      “ 劳动        中         接受      教育 ” 。 
zuòzhě zài zhège shíqī yě bèipò qù nóngcūn láodòng,
   作者   在    这个   时期    也  被迫   去       农村       劳动 , 
jiù zài nàli yùdào le zhè zhī tèbiéde zhū.
就  在  那里  遇到 了  这   只  特别的    猪 。

It’s a prose,

the pig from the title and the author of the article

lived in a special period in history.

From 1950 to 1978,

the Chinese government forced tens of millions of Chinese young adults

to go live and work in

the countryside,

to “be educated from labor”.

The author was forced to go to the countryside for labor at the time,

and he met the special pig there.

wèishénme zhè zhī zhū hěn tèbié?
为什么           这   只     猪    很    特别 ?
zài nóngcūn, rénmen yǎngniú, yǎngzhū.
在     农村 ,       人们       养牛   ,   养猪 。
rénmen gěi tāmen de shēnghuó dōu zuòchūle ānpái.
人们        给    它们   的       生活        都       做出了     安排 。
měi yìtóu niú hé měiyìkǒu zhū de shēnghuó dōu yǒule zhǔtí.
每    一头    牛   和     每 一口    猪   的      生活       都      有了   主题 。
bǐrúshuō zhū: yǒuyìxiē gōngzhū de rènwu shì jiāopèi,
比如说     猪 : 有一些       公猪      的    任务     是    交配 ,
dànshì píbèi de gōngzhūmen
但是    疲惫   的      公猪们
chángcháng bùkěn tiàodào mǔzhūde b
èi shàngqù.
常常                   不肯     跳到          母猪的     背     上去 。

 

Why was this pig so special?

In the countryside, people raised cattle and pigs.

People made arrangements for their lives.

Every cattle and pig was assigned a purpose for their lives.

Take pigs for instance: the mission for some of the boars was mating.

But exhausted boars

often resisted jumping onto sows’ backs.

mǔzhū de rènwu shì shēngzǎiér,
     母猪 的   任务     是     生崽儿 , 
dàn yǒuxiē mǔzhū quèyào bǎ xiǎozhū chīdiào.
  但    有些       母猪      却要      把       小猪     吃掉 。 
zǒngéryánzhī, rénmende ānpái ràng dòngwùmen tòngkǔ bùkān.
     总而言之 ,      人们的      安排      让       动物们          痛苦      不堪 。 
dànshì tāmen háishi jiēshòule.
   但是     他们     还是       接受了 。 
àn zuòzhě de huàshuō:
按   作者    的     话说 : 
zhū zǒngshì zhū ā.
 猪     总是       猪   啊 。

The mission for sows was reproducing,

but some of the sows would eat their piglets.

In general, humans’ arrangements made these animals suffer tremendously,

but the animals still accepted it.

In the author’s words:

Pigs are still pigs.

dàn nà zhī tèbiéde zhū bùjiēshòu zhèyàngde ānpái.
  但  那   只  特别的    猪      不接受        这样的        安排 。 
tā chángcháng pǎochūlái,
它            常常      跑出来 , 
qù biéde cūnzi zhǎozìjǐ xǐhuande mǔzhū, huòzhě dàochù xiánguàng.
去   别的    村子  找自己      喜欢的        母猪 ,      或者       到处       闲逛 。 
tā hěn mǐnjié, suǒyǐ rénmen gēnběn zhuābúdào tā.
它  很     敏捷 ,所以      人们       根本         抓不到     它 。

However, the special pig didn’t accept this kind of arrangement.

He ran out frequently,

went to other villages for sows that he liked or just wandered everywhere.

He was very agile, so people could never catch him.

suǒyǒu wèizhūde niánqīngrén
    所有     喂猪的       年轻人
dōu xǐhuan zhèzhīzhū, juéde tā hěn xiāosǎ.
 都     喜欢         这只猪 , 觉得  它  很     潇洒 。
dànshì qítāde cūnmínmen bùxǐhuan tā, shuō tā búzhèngjǐng.
   但是  其他的      村民们        不喜欢     它 , 说    它   不正经 。
lǐngdǎomen hèn tā, yīnwèi tā zǒngshì èzuòjù.
       领导们     恨   它 , 因为  它   总是      恶作剧 。
zhōngyú yǒuyìtiān, cūnmínmen hé lǐngdǎo yào shāletā.
    终于      有 一天 ,    村民们         和      领导      要   杀了它 。
sānshíjǐgèrén názheqiāng lái shā tā.
   三十几个人     拿着枪         来   杀  它 。

All the young people who fed pigs

liked this pig because they felt he was free-spirited.

But other villagers didn’t and said he’s too playful.

Leaders hated him because he always played tricks.

Eventually one day, villagers decided to kill him.

More than 30 people brought guns for this purpose.

suīrán zuòzhě hěn xǐhuan zhèzhī tèlìdúxíng de zhū,
  虽然      作者     很       喜欢      这只    特立独行   的   猪 ,
shènzhì yǒuxiē zūnjìng tā,
    甚至      有些      尊敬     它 ,
dànshì zhège shíhou què bùgǎn bāngmáng.
   但是     这个      时候    却    不敢        帮忙 。
yīnwèi tā bùgǎn duìkàng lǐngdǎo.
   因为   他  不敢       对抗       领导 。
hǎozàizhèzhī mǐnjié de zhū zuìhòu háishi táozǒule.
   好在 , 这只     敏捷   的   猪     最后     还是    逃走了 。

Although the author really liked this peculiar pig,

and even respected the pig,

he didn’t dare help him in the moment

because he didn’t dare resist the leaders.

The good thing is that this agile pig escaped in the end.

hěnduōnián hòu zuòzhě huáiniàntā, shuō:
很多年            后      作者          怀念他 ,     说 :
cónglái méi jiànguò shéi gǎn zhème wúshì duìshēnghuóde shèzhì,
“      从来  没      见过      谁      敢     这么     无视         对生活的            设置 ,
xiāngfǎn, wǒ dàoshi jiànguò hěnduō
相反 ,     我    倒是     见过       很多
xiǎngyào shèzhì biéren shēnghuóde rén,
想要          设置        别人         生活的         人 ,
háiyǒu duì bèi shèzhì de shēnghuó ānzhīruòsù de rén.
还有     对    被   设置     的        生活        安之若素      的  人 。 ”

Many years later, the author reminisced on the pig and said:

“I never saw anyone who dared to disregard setups on their lives this much,

on the contrary, I saw many of whom want to set up others’ lives,

and those who bear the setups with equanimity.”

 

  From the 1960s to 70s , chairman Mao Zedong declared that urban youth needed to be sent
to remote areas of China to learn from the workers and farmers there. As a result, approximately 17 million fresh high school graduates were forced out of cities and sent to the countryside. This policy was called Up to the Mountain Down to the Countryside Movement, often known as Down to the Countryside Movement. Many of those youth, known in China as “the educated youth 知识青年,” lost their opportunities to attend university. They were later called China’s “lost generation”.

  The author of “A Peculiar Pig” – Wang Xiaobo was one of those educated youths.Like many others, he had no choice other than giving up study and following the government policy. The prose “A Peculiar Pig” was written to express his eagerness towards liberty or, in my opinion, even rebellion. Wang Xiaobo said in the article, “Human beings are specialized for various setups in life: not only the lives of animals, but also that of themselves’.” He was the one who accepted these setups. But the peculiar pig dared to resist! For this reason, the pig was well-liked by and even earned respect from the educated youth, andfor the same reason, he was almost killed by those who created these setups. The author knew that because of his friendship with the pig, he should have held a butcher’s cleaver and fought against these humans when the pig was in danger, but unfortunately, the only thing he could do was to say: After all, he was just a pig.

 

Join us on Saturday night to read and discuss about the article.

Chinese Book Club! (For Intermediate Chinese Speakers)

Saturday, Aug 15, 2020, 7:00 PM

Online event
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13 Chinese lover Went

Dear Chinese Lovers, Come join our book club and let’s read a Chinese article together. Don’t worry if you can’t understand the article completely because we will translate and explain all your questions one by one. But previewing the article in advance helps your study on Saturday a lot! Check out the link below: http://lovinchinese.net/chinese…

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