纽约时报文摘 | 150年后,铁路华工在美终获认可

英语资讯

It was a seminal moment in American history: the inauguration of the first Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, in Promontory, Utah.
那是美国历史的一个重要时刻:1869年5月10日,第一条横贯大陆铁路(Transcontinental Railroad)在犹他州普瑞蒙特瑞(Promontory)竣工。

The day marked a profound transformation. A dangerous journey that once took months could now be completed in a week, revolutionizing the fractured country’s economy.
那一天标志着一场深刻的变革。曾经需要耗时数月的危险旅程,如今可以在一周内完成,给这个四分五裂的国家的经济带来了一场革命。

The leaders of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads came together to celebrate the joining of the tracks, and Leland Stanford, the business tycoon and political leader who founded Stanford University, drove a ceremonial golden spike into a tie to unite them.
中央太平洋铁路公司(Central Pacific)和联合太平洋铁路公司(Union Pacific Railroads)的领导人齐聚一堂,庆祝铁路轨道的接通。创办了斯坦福大学的商业大鳄、政治领袖利兰·斯坦福(Leland Stanford)把一根仪式性的金道钉敲入枕木,将铁轨连接了起来。

But many of the workers who had built the railroad were all but invisible at the ceremony, and in its retelling for many years afterward. They included about 15,000 Chinese immigrants — up to 90 percent of the work force on the Central Pacific line — who were openly discriminated against, vilified and forgotten.
但在仪式上,以及此后数年的叙述中,却看不到修建铁路的众多工人的身影。他们包括占中央太平洋线(Central Pacific line)九成劳动力的约1.5万名华人移民——他们受到了公然的歧视、贬低和遗忘。

Now those workers are being written back into the history of the railroad, thanks to the dogged efforts of their descendants and of scholars. At the 150th anniversary of the golden spike ceremony on Friday, and at associated events held last week in Utah, thousands gathered to recognize a more complete picture of the monumental feat.
幸得这些工人的后裔和学者的不懈努力,如今他们被重新写入这条铁路的历史。在上周五的金道钉仪式150周年纪念中,以及上周在犹他州举行的相关活动上,数千人聚到一起,共同见证这一不朽壮举得到了更完整的描绘。

“I felt such elation,” said Connie Young Yu, a San Francisco-based author and historian with the Chinese Historical Society of America. In her speech at the ceremony on Friday, Ms. Yu paid tribute to the Chinese laborers’ courage and sacrifice.
“我不胜欣喜,”旧金山作家、美国华人历史学会(Chinese Historical Society of America)历史学家虞容仪芳(Connie Young Yu)说。她在周五的仪式上发表讲话,向华工的勇气和牺牲精神致以敬意。

Ms. Yu’s great-grandfather helped build the railroad, and her mother was the only descendant of the Chinese workers at the 100th celebration of the golden spike ceremony in 1969. The centennial was a bitter disappointment for the descendants of the Chinese railroad workers, she said. The president of the Chinese Historical Society was nudged off the list of speakers, and the transportation secretary, John A. Volpe, failed to mention the Chinese workers.
虞容仪芳的曾祖父曾参与铁路的修筑,母亲是1969年金道钉100周年庆祝仪式举办之时唯一在世的华工后裔。她说一百周年纪念令铁路华工后裔大失所望。华人历史学会主席被从讲话人名单上抹去,时任运输部长约翰·A·沃尔普(John A. Volpe)对华工则是只字未提。

“Who else but Americans could have laid 10 miles of track in 12 hours?” he famously asked.
“除了美国人,还有谁能在12小时内铺设完10英里的铁轨?”这是他的一句名言。

In fact, it was Chinese and Irish workers who achieved that feat. In the years that followed, the Chinese workers would face rising anti-immigrant sentiment and violence, and would be barred from citizenship by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.
事实上,完成这项壮举的,是华工和苏格兰工人。在接下来的数年中,华工将面临反移民情绪和暴力事件的日益上升,并被1882年《排华法案》禁止入籍。

At a ceremony on Friday, Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, the first person of Chinese descent to hold the position, paid tribute to the diverse work force. In addition to Chinese workers, there were many Irish immigrants, Civil War veterans, Mormons, African-Americans and Native Americans, Ms. Chao said.
在周五的仪式上,交通部长赵小兰(Elaine L. Chao)向多个族群的劳工表达了敬意,她是首个担任该职位的华裔。赵小兰表示,除华工外,当时有许多爱尔兰移民、内战老兵、摩门教徒、非裔美国人和印第安人。

Native American communities, of course, were also forcibly displaced by the railroad and the westward expansion it enabled. An exhibit on the Chinese workers, on view at the Smithsonian through next year, also highlights the experiences of Native Americans.
美洲原住民社群自然也因铁路的修建以及随之而来的向西扩张被赶出家园。史密森尼博物院(Smithsonian)正在举办的一场持续至明年的华工展览也强调了美洲原住民的经历。

Ms. Chao said that the achievements of the Chinese workers were poignant because many did not have the opportunity to become citizens, and so little record of their existence survived.
赵小兰表示,华工的成就令人心酸,因为许多人没有机会成为公民,有关他们存在的记录也很难留存下来。

Yet the engineering feat they undertook was “every bit as consequential as the digital revolution that binds the world” today, she said.
但她说,他们所完成的工程壮举,却“和连通当今世界的数字革命有着同等重要的影响”。

The renewed focus on the contributions of the Chinese workers is due in large part to Gordon H. Chang, a historian at Stanford University, who has spent de

cades researching the workers’ history and co-directs the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project.
对华工贡献的重新关注主要归功于斯坦福大学历史学家张少书(Gordon H. Chang),他曾花几十年时间研究华工历史,并担任北美铁路华工研究项目(Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project)联席主任。

Dr. Chang noted that for many descendants of railroad workers, the 150th anniversary events marked the culmination of a lifelong effort to recover the history of their families and communities. But for him, it’s also a beginning.
张少书指出,对许多铁路工人后裔而言,150周年纪念活动是他们还原家人和社群历史的毕生努力的一个大结局。但对他而言,这也是个开始。

“I’m quite enthusiastic that because of the attention to this history, more people are going to come forward to contribute bits and pieces and documentation,” he said.
“我很兴奋地看到,由于对这段历史的关注,更多的人将走上前来,贡献出一些散碎资料与文献,”他说。

The Chinese workers took on some of the most dangerous and difficult work, including cutting across the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Dr. Chang has written. Hundreds are believed to have died. But their experiences were largely unrecorded.
张少书写道,华工承担了其中一些最危险、最艰巨的任务,包括打通内华达山脉(Sierra Nevada)。据信有数百人因此丧命。但他们的经历却几乎没有被记录下来。

Mr. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, a professor of English and the humanities at Stanford, carried out painstaking research to fill that gap, drawing on historical photographs and material objects, interviews with descendants of the workers, newspaper accounts and business records.
张少书同斯坦福大学英语和人文学科教授谢莉·费希尔·菲什金(Shelley Fisher Fishkin)开展了艰巨的研究工作,以填补这一空白,他们参考了历史照片和实物,对工人后裔的采访,以及新闻报道和业务记录。

That the research center is at Stanford is notable. Mr. Stanford — a key investor in the Central Pacific line — had disparaged Chinese immigrants, calling them “an inferior race,” years before he employed thousands of them.
将研究中心设在斯坦福大学本身就值得注意。中央太平洋线的关键投资人斯坦福本人曾诋毁华人移民,称他们是“劣等种族”,多年后他却雇用了成千上万名华工。

They were paid lower wages than white workers, even as they worked longer hours, took on the most treacherous stretches of track and became renowned for their work. Mr. Stanford would come to greatly admire them, Dr. Chang has written.
张少书写道,尽管工作时间更长,他们却领着低于白人工人的薪水,承担着铁路中最艰险的路段,且以工作出色闻名,斯坦福后来对他们产生了深深的敬意。

“I am painfully aware that Leland Stanford became one of the world’s richest men by using Chinese labor,” Dr. Chang wrote in an opinion piece published Friday in The Los Angeles Times.
“我痛心却又清楚地知道,利兰·斯坦福通过对华工的使用成为了世界上最富有的人之一,”张少书在周五发表在《洛杉矶时报》(Los Angeles Times)上的一则观点文章中写道。

“But I also try to remember that Stanford University exists because of those Chinese workers.”
“但我也会努力铭记,斯坦福大学之所以存在,是因为有那些华工。”

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