中英对照版 2019年第4期 梁晶文 匈牙利罗兰大学孔子学院汉语教师志愿者 2019-11-26
Chinese-English No.4 2019 2019-11-26
Two years ago, my impression of Hungary is the once-dominant Austro-Hungarian Empire in the history textbook, the calming pink-blue hue and lovely scenes in the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, the brilliant and romantic notes played by the pianist Franz Liszt, and “Liberty and love /These two I must have. /For my love I’ll sacrifice /My life. /For liberty I’ll sacrifice /My love” written by the poet Sándor Petöfi ....
Today, when I recall Hungary again, it becomes concrete, lively, and vivid, just like a congenial old pal who makes me feel at home....
The Polish Couple
The “Polish couple” are the friends I met at the opening ceremony of the sixth central and eastern European local Chinese teacher training. They are local Chinese teachers in Poland and teach at a local language school. At that time, as a guest performer at the opening ceremony, I played guzheng tune “Melodies from the Night Fisherman” for the students. After the ceremony, some foreign friends speaking fluent and standard Mandarin came to me and exchanged ideas about the Chinese folk music with me. Among them, the “Polish couple” impressed me most.
The couple met in Poland. They were classmates at university and majored in Chinese studies. Speaking of the reasons for choosing Chinese studies, the husband said that it is out of curiosity. He used to know little about China and felt that China is very mysterious. Later, with curiosity about China, the couple traveled all the way to Hangzhou to study. While studying abroad, they have visited most of China. The wife said that she really likes the mountains and waters in China and especially the serenity of the water towns in the Jiangnan area. The sound of guzheng seemed to place her in a Chinese landscape painting at once. Since they liked the mood that guzheng evokes, they encouraged their daughter to learn guzheng. Their daughter has been learning to play guzheng for a year and can play simple songs such as “Melodies from the Night Fisherman”. I was particularly surprised when I heard this because it was the first time that I had heard that parents from other countries encourage their children to learn to play Chinese folk musical instruments. Meanwhile, I felt that the beauty and charm of the Chinese folk music will be discovered by more and more people and more foreign friends will join the trend of learning to play Chinese folk musical instruments in the future.
Students from Madách Imre Secondary School
The eight students I taught in the elementary Chinese course are from Madách Imre Secondary School. They were fifteen or sixteen years old and full of vitality.
Every Friday, between the fifth and sixth classes was one of the few times I can watch the students. I remember that once during the break the school broadcast a familiar song and the students humming along with the music. At the climax of the song, it became a chorus. The next day, I taught them the first Chinese song “How Long Will The Full Moon Appear”. I remember that the Mid-autumn Festival was approaching and I told them the emotion in the song about the festival. They learned faster than I would expect as they learned the song after singing along with me several times. Later, we performed this Chinese song together at “Madách Imre Secondary School Language Week”, which was well received by the audience and school.
During the Spring Festival, they offered to perform at the “2018 Spring Festival Gala” held at the Confucius Institute. Then we learned the second Chinese song “Tian Mi Mi”. They were extremely serious about this performance, putting tremendous effort into designing the clothing and rehearsing the movements. That day I was very pleased to see them in red clothes singing the familiar song with uplifting melody. When they walked off the stage, we hugged together excitedly. I saw several girls with tears welling up their eyes and I reckon they were deeply moved. After the event, Ferenc Hudecz, Honorary Member of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and former president of ELTE shook hands with me and said, “Congratulations! Your students have done a great job!”
What surprised me even more is that Feifei, among the eight students, participated in the third China-Europe Chinese Singing Contest held in June this year. She won the first prize of the Friendship Group with her excellent performance!
Róbert is a teacher at Hubay Jenő Academy of Music and the conductor and the president of the Orchestra Association of the 15th District of Budapest. We met at the “song of friendship” concert celebrating the 69th anniversary of the establishment of China-Hungary diplomatic relations.
I still remember on the day of the concert, I came to the concert early prepare for the performance. In a short while, there were bursts of booming sound from behind. I turned around and saw the 15th District Orchestra. Among a number of people in white shirts and black trousers, a middle-aged gentleman in blue Tang suit was particularly eye-catching. He smiled and came to shake hands with me. After asking me some basic questions about guzheng, he told me that it is his first time to see guzheng and he looks forward to my performance tonight.
As Róbert conducted with the baton, the concert kicked off amid the sound of the Overture to Egmont by the famous German composer Beethoven. I watched them backstage. It was my first time to be so close to an Orchestra performance. Róbert, already sweating, waved the baton in his hand animatedly and various instruments were played by the musicians in an orderly manner. This scene has changed my impression of conducting. In fact, every movement of the baton is based on the music score but beyond the elaborate design of the music score. The conductor makes the different parts of the Orchestra play as a whole and serves as the soul of an Orchestra. The warm-up of the 15th District Orchestra gave me a lot of confidence. Before I went onto the stage, Róbert gave me an encouraging smile and told me not to be nervous. Then I walked onto the stage calmly and completed the performance of “Liuyang River” and “Melodies from the Night Fisherman” successfully.
After the concert, Róbert showed his love of guzheng and asked me if it was possible to play with the Orchestra. Later, we communicated with each other several times over the ensemble, though the plan could not be realized at the end. However, I knew more about the Hungarian folk music through the exchanges with Róbert. It turns out that there is also an instrument like guzheng in Hungary called Citera, which is also made of wood. Its strings are pressed by the left hand and plucked by the right hand. The Hungarian translation of guzheng is exactly “Kínai Citera”, which means “CITERA of China”. There is another Hungarian folk musical instrument “Cimbalom”, which is of the same origin as the Chinese dulcimer. He also introduced to me the Kodály method implemented in Hungarian primary and secondary schools, which reasonably explained my doubts about why Hungarian students are so good at folk music.
Music, the only language without borders, lets me make numerous friends in Hungary all at once. And these friends are the most wonderful memories of my stay in Hungary.