The Night of Northeast China – 关东之夜

I’m a Korean-Chinese, not because one of my parents is Korean and the other is Chinese. In fact, my nationality is Chinese but my ethnicity is Korean. So the correct translation of my ethnicity should be China’s Korean Ethnic Group (中国朝鲜族). We are a group of people who immigrated to mainland China due to various historical events that happened in the Korean Peninsula. The first major immigration of Koreans to Northeast China started in the 19th century when Korea was politically and economically unstable and people urged to Manchuria. The second surge started in 1910 when many Koreans were struggling during Japan’s colonial rule. Many Korean people moved to China either to seek better lives (like my grandparents did) or to fight against the Japanese army (like the main character of the story below – Min (郑敏浩)). At the time, many Korean leaders and fighters went into exile in Manchuria to continue their independence movements after the March 1st Movement, which displayed Koreans’ resistance to the Japanese rule. Min went to Northeast China searching for independence groups and experienced a series of dramatic events. The novel – “The Night of Northeast China” describes in detail how a Korean Chinese man created a life for himself in China and eventually settled down there.

This book is written by a Korean Chinese author Songzhu Jin (김송국). In China, the Korean Chinese ethnic group has developed literature that is different from North/South Korean pieces of literature. The literature works of the Korean Chinese well establish how the Korean and Chinese cultures mixed together and created harmony. Considering the length of the story, I only translated the part which describes how the main character moved to Northeast China in order to show readers a glimpse of Korean Chinese history. Hopefully, I’ll have further chances to introduce various facets of my ethnic group in the future.

 

New Vocabularies

tūrán
突然          all of a sudden
bùdébù
不得不     have no choice, but/have to
lángbèi
狼狈          haggardly
lián... dōu...
连 . . . 都 . . .    even sb/sth + v./adj.
dàgài
大概         probably

dǎzhàng
 打仗        fight/go to war
méichūxī
没出息     useless
zhǔdǎo
主导         lead
shìwēi
示威        demonstrate
yóuxíng
游行        march/parade

Idiom

yǔ hòu chūn sǔn
雨   后    春     笋  : like bamboo shoots after a spring rain.(similar to “growing like mushrooms” in English)

 

zhèng mǐn hào de gùxiāng zài jiāngyuándào.
   郑      敏   浩  的     故乡     在       江原道 。 
tā chūshēng zài yígè hěn qióng de yúfū jiātíng.
他      出生     在  一个 很      穷    的  渔夫 家庭 。 
yǒu yì nián tā de fùqīn tūrán shīzōng le,
 有  一   年  他 的   父亲 突然      失踪 了 , 
méiyǒu liúxià yìdiǎn xiāoxi.
    没有    留下  一点     消息 。 
suǒyǐ zhèng mǐn hào cóng hěnxiǎo jiù bùdébù chūqù zhuànqián.
  所以    郑      敏    浩     从         很小  就  不得不    出去      赚钱 。

Min’s hometown is in Gangwon-do,Korea.

He was born into a very poor fisherman family.

One year, his father disappeared all of a sudden,

And didn’t leave any messages.

So Min had to make money ever since he was very young.

13 suì nànián,
他 13  岁   那年 , 
tā de fùqīn tūrán huílai le.
他 的 父亲   突然   回来 了 。 
tā tuō zhe yì tiáo cánjí de tuǐ,
他  拖   着 一  条   残疾 的 腿 , 
kànqǐlai fēicháng lángbèi,
   看起来     非常     狼狈 , 
suǒyǐ lián mǐn hào de  jiě jiemen dōu méiyǒu rènchū lái,
 所以   连     敏  浩    的    姐 姐们          没有     认出 来 , 
zhǐyǒu mǔqīn rènchū lái shì fùqīn.
  只有      母亲     认出   来  是 父亲 。

When he was 13,

his father came back all of a sudden.

He was dragging a disabled leg,

looking very haggardly

so even Min’s older sisters didn’t recognize him,

only his mother recognized that it was his father.

mǔqīn shuō:
  母亲   说 : 
wǒ yǐwéi nǐ yǐjīng biànchéng guǐ le,
“ 我   以为  你  已经       变成      鬼  了 , 
zěnme huílai le?
 怎么    回来 了 ? ” 
fùqīn shuō:
  父亲  说 : 
dàgài shì lǎotiān bǎoyòu ba.
“  大概  是    老天      保佑 吧 。 ” 
mǔqīn: jiéguǒ zěnmeyàng le?
母亲 : “  结果      怎么样    了 ? ” 
fùqīn: hái néng zěnmeyàng, shībài le bei.
父亲 : “ 还 能        怎么样 ,   失败 了 呗 。 ” 
zhèng mǐn hào hòulái cái zhīdào
    郑      敏   浩      后来  才  知道 
yuánlái fùqīn cóngjūn qù hé rìběn jūn dǎzhàng le.
   原来    父亲      从军    去  和 日本   军      打仗   了 。 
yì tiān mǐn hào zài hǎibiān wán le yì tiānhòu huílai,
一 天      敏   浩   在     海边     玩  了 一 天  后     回来 , 
fùqīn dàmà tā méichūxī, érqiě zhìwèn tā:
父亲    大骂  他    没出息 , 而且 质问 他 : 
rúguǒ zhèyàng tiāntiān wán,
“ 如果        这样       天天     玩 , 
shénmeshíhou néng bǎ shīqù de zǔguó zhǎohuí lái?!
      什么时候        能   把    失去 的    祖国    找回 来 ? ! ”

Mother said:

“I thought you had become a ghost,

why did you come back?”

Father said:

Probably God blessed me.”

Mother: “how’s the result?”

Father: “What can we do?! We failed.”

Min knew only later,

it turned out that his father had joined the army to fight against the Japanese army.

One day when Min came back after playing at the beach all day,

Father reproached him harshly that he is useless, saying:

“if you play every day,

when will you win back the lost country?”

cóngcǐ mǐn hào jiù búzài gōngzuò,
   从此   敏   浩    就   不再   工作 , 
chóngxīnkāishǐ xuéxí le.
        重新开始      学习 了 。 
hòulái zài cháoxiǎn, sān yī yùndòng bàofā,
  后来   在       朝鲜 , 三 一     运动     爆发 , 
suǒyǐ mǐn hào zhǐhǎo tíngzhǐ xuéxí.
  所以   敏   浩      只好     停止   学习 。 
rìběn jūnrén dàochù zhǎo zhǔdǎo shìwēiyóuxíng de rén,
  日本    军人      到处     找      主导        示威游行       的 人 , 
mǐn hào suīrán méiyǒu zhǔdǎo shìwēiyóuxíng,
   敏   浩     虽然     没有       主导       示威游行 , 
dànshì tā zài yóuxíng de rénmen zhōngjiān
   但是   他  在 游行      的     人们      中间 
dàshēng de hǎn dúlì wànsuì!,
    大声     地  喊 “ 独立 万岁 ! ” , 
suǒyǐ tā bùdébù duǒ jìn le jiālǐ.
  所以 他  不得不  躲   进 了 家里 。 
dànshì méixiǎngdào fùqīn huì fēicháng shēngqì.
   但是            没想到    父亲   会     非常       生气 。

From then on, Min didn’t work anymore,

and started studying again.

Later in Korea, the March 1st Movement exploded,

So Min had to stop studying.

The Japanese army was searching for the protest leaders everywhere,

although Min didn’t lead the protest,

he was in the middle of the protesters

and shouted loudly “long live the independence!”,

so he had to hide at home.

But he didn’t expect that his father would be so angry.

fùqīn dàmà:     nǐ zhège méichūxī de dōngxi,
 父亲  大骂 : “ 你  这个      没出息  的  东西 , 
duǒ zàijiā lǐ néng zuò shénme,
  躲   在家 里   能    做    什么 , 
yīnggāi chūqù dǎzhàng ā!
    应该     出去    打仗  啊 ! ” 
suǒyǐ mǐn hào hé tā de gēge jiù qù le mǎnzhōu,
  所以   敏   浩  和 他 的 哥哥  就  去 了   满洲 , 
yīnwèi nàli  yǒu hěnduō dúlì yùndòngjiā.
    因为 那里 有       很多    独立  运动家 。 
dāngshí zài shànghǎi chénglì le hánguó línshízhèngfǔ,
   当时    在        上海       成立 了     韩国       临时政府 , 
zài zhōngguó hěnduō dìfāng chénglì le hěnduō dúlì tuántǐ,
在         中国         很多     地方    成立 了     很多    独立 团体 , 
jiù xiàng yǔhòuchūnsǔn yíyàng.
 就    像           雨后春笋     一样 。

Father reproached him harshly: “You useless thing,

what can you do at home,

you should go out and fight!”

So Min and his older brother went to Manchuria,

because there are many independent activists there.

At the time, the Korean Provisional Government was founded in Shanghai, China,

and many kinds of independent groups established in many regions,

just like bamboo shoots after a spring rain.

 

Join our Chinese Book Club, read the article with other Chinese learners and discuss it!

Chinese Book Club – The Night of Northeast China

Saturday, Jan 16, 2021, 7:00 PM

Online event
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11 Chinese lover Attending

Hi all! I’m going to introduce a book that is written by an author in my ethnic group – China’s Korean Ethnic Group. From the book, I hope you’ll get a glimpse on how Korean-Chinese community was formed at China, and of course, bring back some new Chinese vocabularies home! Check out the article in advance on below link will help your study on th…

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