「The heat is almost unbearable.」雖然比起東南亞國家將近快把人融化的氣溫來說，台灣還是涼爽許多，但對於長年在加拿大生活的老師實在有點"凍未著"，冬天雖然是冷，但只要是室內環境都會有暖氣，但夏天來說只能靠冷氣，這時候就覺得台灣朋友很幸福，到處都有水上樂園和許多清涼的冰品可以購買。加拿大通常只有冰淇淋車會不定期出現，而台灣的便利商店也隨時有提供冷飲選購，有各國茶飲和汽泡飲品任君挑選，實在好生羨慕呀！因為目前的住處比較接近農村地區，晚上的時候其實雖然有微風，但因為還是太過於貼近隔壁大樓所以自然通風部份並沒很完善。「It's really essential to keep your room well-ventilated.」是的，房間保持通風良好是很重要的，有時候聽聞在台灣因為天氣寒冷有人緊閉窗戶，洗澡的時候熱水器放在室內而導致二氧化碳中毒，真的是令我倒抽好幾口涼氣。不過這幾天對於老師來說，真的就是一句非常動感的英文可以給大家分享和使用：「I want to jump out of my skin.」看這個句子就知道，想"JUMP"(跳出)自己的"SKIN"(皮膚)，當你對於某些狀況無法忍受，像是考試的壓力快讓你喘不過氣的時候或是你真的快抓狂，熱到全身都發癢的時候，就可以大喊「I want to jump out of my skin.」是不是非常的貼切你目前的心情呢？
A.superstition (n.)迷信B.traditional belief傳統信仰 C. ritual(n.)宗教儀式(生活習慣必定要從事的常規，比如早起運動或是一天一杯咖啡不然會渾身不對勁也可以用ritual來強調！)D. ingrained (a.)根深蒂固的 E. generation (n.)世代(代溝就是generation gap)F.significance(n.)重要意義(a rewarding and significant journey獲益良多且對生命有重大影響的旅程)G. harmony(n.)和諧 H. liberal(a.)寬容的I taboo(n.)禁忌& Tattoo刺青 J denote(v.)隱含某種涵義K. practice(n.)習俗(原先是當作動詞的練習但是在文化中長期維持下所進行的動作，也成了習俗的一部分進而變成生活習慣和廣為接受的認知事實) L worshiper(n.)信徒 M. pilgrimage (n.)朝聖之旅 N. long-held長期奉行的(v.s. long-haul flight長途旅程) O preoccupation(n.)已有的成見 P. piercing(n.)穿洞(在身上穿環穿洞都算)
Dear all, welcome to our column again： English is a piece of cake, from which we all derived great pleasure and drew inspirations. As you've noticed, summer is coming around and the heat has been building up in time gone by. But there're some traditional beliefs ingrained in our culture probably giving you some creeps (有點毛毛的感覺)and chilling you down here. Don't scream your head off before we head to today's extraordinary discovery regarding(有關) Taiwanese long-held superstitions from one generation to another. The term superstition didn't denote any negative(負面的)meaning but simply indicated something greater than human scopes. The prefix "super" stands for "something above" or the "supreme power" over our control while the root word" stitu-" represents " stand " or " exist" for some period of time in history or has appeared through a long time as recorded. The following superstitions may not be applied to all cultures in every region in Taiwan, let alone Asian regions, but it does serve as a symbol with underlying(有背後的涵義) significance there. Don't frown(皺眉) before you read through them and be open-minded before our journey of Taiwanese customs officially embarks. Brace yourself, and it's interesting to learn of some cultures different from your preoccupation or getting to know more about your own traditions in Taiwan.
Did you happen to notice some superstitions quite puzzling you to the certain extent？ And when walking on the street or past the alleys, you were totally suffocated(窒息的) by those burning incenses(焚燒的) oozing out from each family with their offerings(供品) on the table staked in front of their houses, lowering their heads while whispering something scared or making wishes in their mouths. And it's not a surprise to witness those rituals recurring regardless of the dates or occasions those worshipers could hardly describe why they did all these for God or spirits wandering in our world. And why preparing all these and making a scene(把某事弄得很張揚) when they were even unconvinced whether their efforts will pay off(努力有回報) or not？ It's for the sense of security and peace in life which drive them to do all and also can assure them the future encounters (未來的際遇)will be smoother and positive since then.
A. Refrain from pointing your fingers to the moon！(避免把手指向月亮)
Believe it or not！ One of my best friends, Fiona, as a Chinese-American mother residing in Seattle with her mother-in-law's family since married at the age of 25, shared with me regarding her remorse doing something against
the taboos during pregnancy. One day, she felt like trimming some split ends of her long hair to the shoulder length, which made her mother-in-law super ticked-off(十分的火大) , for she has been upholding(強烈擁護) very conservative and doctrines values in her bone. It's widely understood in Taiwan that a woman carrying a baby should stay away from any sharp objects which will do harm to the unborn baby in the womb. To most westerners, the idea of holding scissors when a bun in the oven(懷孕) will do some magic tricks to baby seems rather incredibly ridiculous, with no concrete scientific evidence.Totally unaware of her reprimand, Fiona kept doing the nail-clipping or cutting some cloth for making some handicrafts or hand-made bags to kill time. When her boy baby was brought to her on the table after the very first cry, she was totally speechless spotting a unknown scar on his forehead, for which she has been suffering from the guilty sentence. Also, from then on, she dare not to tease her mother-in-law groundless sayings or talks. The stake was way too high for her to accept. Plus, in Taiwanese society, we do think two pregnant women who stand belly-to-belly against each other will "switch the genders" (性別互換)of their babies. I couldn't help but giggle over that but my family cannot overemphasize(強調) the importance of tons of rules imposed on pregnant women so as to ensure everything will be smooth and peaceful.
B. Have you got any piercings？ That's a big No-No！(身上有打洞你知道有什麼韓義嗎？)Alright,everyone！ Please keep your hair down and put your hands up for such fun statement！ I am happy with all piercings which make us shine and glow in public venues, but there're in general some superstitions going on in our community. Whenever wandering around the shopping malls in Canada, I always saw some little pretty girls sitting on the stool waited for their first ear-piercings like the symbol of maturity or some market-style "Ritual of Passage". According to the social etiquette in Europe, ladies should wear ear-rings when attending social occasions and their accessories do showcase individual charisma and professionalism. But one of the most popular religions, Buddhism, did significantly impacted many families in Taiwan and affected the way of our daily routines or religious activities, even to the dieting habits from the meal featuring richness in meat protein to more consumption of greens/veggies. If a person received the piercing, in Buddhism, it will mark you as the girl in the next life of reincarnation(輪迴). That means you will be re-born as a girl after you pass away this life and the cycle will never end until you've made some generous contributions to the impoverished(窮困的人們) or people in need of help desperately or helplessly. Even a random act of kindness will make a tremendous change in your life or the next life. In Huaren culture(華人文化), the bride after the meticulously-arranged(精心安排的) grooming tend to wear many kinds of luxury gems and more jewelry than ordinary family to boast their wealth and represent a blissful life in the coming years of marriage.
C. Swimming during July of Lunar Calendar？ It's more than pulling your legs.(在農曆期七月的時候游泳嗎？這可不鬧著玩的喔！)
Ghost month, during July of Lunar Calendar ( the traditional approaches to calculating the dates or seasonal changes of farming or festivals( according to the shapes of the moon), has long been the period of time people would be alert of not doing this or not doing that when their parents become extra unnerving because all the spirits from the underworld(陰間) will be freely released and wandering (遊蕩)on the streets for visiting their family or meeting someone they missed most. And some earthbound spirits in water have lingered(徘徊不離開) in the darkness waiting for someone to replace his/her place by trapping you in water or getting you killed in a car accident. Even though during summer, most children will frolic near beaches or nearby rivers for cooling down from the heat. But in Taiwan, even in the public swimming pool, parents won't let children join in any water activities in an encouraging tone.Why？ Be all ears(仔細聆聽) about what I am going to tell you, and you don't have to panic(不要驚慌). It's probably the way the elderly warned their future generations of the danger beneath water.
D. Nail-Clipping at night is a big deal？ Oh, YES！(晚上的時候剪指甲可是犯了大忌喔！)In Japanese society, it's the concept has been widespread and rumor has it that if you clip the nails at night, you will make it to past the last respect of your parents dying or in such critical moments before demise. This principle can be applied to Taiwanese society, despite the fact that it might make sense to you or my students in class, but you can also deduce the saying to the time of scarcity people in agricultural society lacked resources and thus getting very little for daily commodities. The part I can level with was chances are you might hurt yourself in dim light when clipping your fingernails, right？That's considered a reminder and genuine advice from your elderly. In a nutshell, as not to offend our wise and caring parents, grandparents, or your nosy neighbors, you can simply abide by all the regulations inscribed in family lessons, deterring yourself from all hassles.
E. Avoid using " Four" or saying "Si" in Taiwan！(在台灣不要使用四或相關的發音)When we are in the market for(準備要購買) new houses, Taiwanese tend to skip the 4th floor for their condo or even for business office. Why？ The word "4" is pronounced(發音近似) like " Death" in Taiwanese(or Chinese) and will bring bad luck to many in Asia, also seen in Japanese customs. That explains why most hospitals will refrain from admitting(允准某人住院) patients to the 4th floor, or the in-patients might feel really awkward staying on the "Floor of Death" and you in this way would never show any sign of recovery or improvement in your health condition. And walking along the bustling street with all vehicles swooping by, the driving plates could sometimes include the number 4 which indicated the driver's life would be doomed to some dire consequences. It does talk a lot in the abovementioned situations. Here is also a reminder for all the foreign friends ready to buy your Taiwanese friends some presents. Cross out " Alarm Clock," " Shoes,"" Watch, "Umbrella" on your shopping list, they all came along with negative meanings" Departure"(分離或散開) for people in Taiwan.
1. in public venues在公共場合中
2. hostility敵意 (VS Hospitality Management餐旅管理)