A Sacrificial Ritual with One Person 《一個人的祭禮》

This was a foundational text for the rise of the Hanfu movement. First posted on Hanwang on November 15th, 2004, Tianya Zai Xiaolou (netname), a journalist from Tianjin, has created massive support from readers all over the world, and this text remains the most quoted and reposted Hanfu essay to date. Its effect in inspiring people to become aware of Han-Manchu history and cultural differences has a historically significant effect.

《一個人的祭禮》

《一個人的祭禮》

一個人的祭禮—–作者:天涯在小樓
A Sacrificial Ritual with One Person
By: Tianya zai Xiaolou
Translated by: Juni Yeung

多年之後,我想我還會記得這天,記得那天籟般的韶音雅樂,記得稚嫩童聲頌出的論語,記得寒風中莊重的祭文,記得那盛大的表演。不過今天,陽光下、人群中,雖滿眼繁華、滿耳嘈雜,我依然只是捧著一顆孤獨的心,去趕赴那場——一個人的祭禮。
Many years later, I think I will still remember this day, remembering the heavenly sounds of Shao elegant court music, remembering the chanting voices of young children reciting the Confucian Analects, remembering the solemn sacrificial speech in the chilling wind, and remembering the grand performance. But today, under the sun, among the sea of people, although prosperous colours dazzle the eye, and noisy din fills the ears, I still hold a lonely heart, to attend that occasion – a Sacrificial Ritual with only one person.

 

公元兩千零四年,天津建衛600週年。
2004 CE, the 600th founding anniversary of Tianjin.

"倘若不是漢服祭孔,那麼這祭禮不也就淪為一種形式,那文化的感召力也就空如一紙詔書..." / "If we don’t pay homage to him in Hanfu, then this ceremony would then fall into nothing more than a form of process, and the cultural inspiration would be as empty as an edict..."

"倘若不是漢服祭孔,那麼這祭禮不也就淪為一種形式,那文化的感召力也就空如一紙詔書..." / "If we don’t pay homage to him in Hanfu, then this ceremony would then fall into nothing more than a form of process, and the cultural inspiration would be as empty as an edict..."

這一年,天津市政府著實搞起了不少文化活動,楊柳青、媽祖節、考試展,到現在的祀孔大典。拯救傳統文化,即使是最愛塔台唱戲的政府,也意識到它的重要性,中華民族的崛起,似乎注定要靠祖先留給我們的燦爛文明。中國眼看國將不國,文化復興迫在眉睫,但是他們似乎忽略了最最表象的東西,忽略了身上的「衣」。
This year, the Tianjin city administration has done many cultural events: Town of Yangliuqing promotions, Mazu Festival, Examinations exhibit, and now the Confucian Homage ceremony. Even the government – known for putting up shows and hogging all the glory – is realizing the importance of rescuing traditional culture. The rise of the Chinese people [Zhonghua Minzu] seems to be destined to the glorious civilization and heritage our ancestors have left for us. China seems to be falling apart as a nation, and cultural renaissance seems to be nearing our brows, but they seem to overlook the most-most superficial of things – overlooking the “clothes” on our bodies.

一件衣衫真的有那麼重要嗎?
Is a piece of clothing really all that important?

我常常慨歎老祖宗造字的神奇,一人一衣是為「依」,倘使失了衣冠,也便身無所依,宛如飄萍了吧。
I always admired in awe the brilliance of our ancestor’s way of creating our written language. A person (人) and a piece of clothing (衣) becomes “to rely on” (依). If we lose our clothing, our person would have nothing to rely on, as if we were to become rootless spores.

這一件衣與那一件衣果有那麼嚴重的區別嗎?
Is there such a terrible difference between this piece of clothing and that piece of clothing?

人與人的區分,除了膚色,恐怕就是衣了。衣,除了用來蔽[體],也用來裝扮,更用來表達一種境界、一種追求。衣不同,人便不同。
In differentiating a person from another, asides from their skin colour, it would most likely be in what they wear. Clothing, asides from using it to cover our bodies, is also used to adorn our appearances, but is furthermore used to express a level of spiritual boundary, an ideal. Different clothes, mean a different person.

記得漢網的萬壑聽松寫過一篇服飾美學論文,講到西服追求立體美、滿服追求繁複美,而漢服追求的是取法自然,天人合一之美。這種美滲透於漢文化的方方面面。
I remember Wanhuo Tingsong from Hanwang writing an essay on fashion aesthetics, saying how Western couture pursue a three-dimensional beauty, Manchu clothing pursue beauty from complexity, and the Han clothing pursuing the imitation of the essence of nature, “man and heaven as one”. This kind of beauty and aesthetic permeates through all aspects of Han culture.

祭孔,祭的當然不是一堆白骨,而是一種思想。禮,不是為了矯揉造作,而是為了表達崇敬之情。倘若不是漢服祭孔,那麼這祭禮不也就淪為一種形式,那文化的感召力也就空如一紙詔書,在沒落皇朝的淫威下,欺騙著那些懵懂的人們。
Homage to Confucius: what we’re paying homage to is not a pile of old bones, but an ideology. Ritual [禮, li], is not for the purpose of pretentious posing, but for expressing sincere sentiments of respect. If we don’t pay homage to him in Hanfu, then this ceremony would then fall into nothing more than a form of process, and the cultural inspiration would be as empty as an edict, written by the despotic power of a dynasty in decline, fooling the ignorant masses.

我堅信,西方思潮氾濫的今天,只有漢文化能承擔扭轉華夏命運的歷史使命,而漢服,就是續接那被斬斷文明的紐帶。
I am adamant on the idea that in the world we live in today, where the flood of Western thought is in excess, only Han Chinese culture can bear the historical mission of changing the fate of the Huaxia future, and Hanfu is the cord that reconnects the dismembered civilization.

"所以我去了..." / "And so I went..."

"我固執的站到祭台前,沒有音樂、沒有祭文、沒有舞蹈..." / "I stubbornly stood in front of altar. There was no music, no speech, no dance..."

所以我去了,雖然只是一件深衣,雖然寒風凜冽中略顯單薄,雖然有種單刀赴會的悲壯意味,但我依然微笑著面對週遭投來的詫異目光。無法解釋,也無從解釋,那是一個人的祭禮。當一干花花綠綠散盡後,我固執的站到祭台前,沒有音樂、沒有祭文、沒有舞蹈,有的只是一顆真正崇拜孔夫子的心。
And so I went. Although it is just a Shenyi, although it seems a tad thin in the chilling wind, and although it feels solemn with a touch of tragedy like a lone knight charging into battle, I still returned a faint smile to those who throw their sights of bewilderment upon me. I cannot explain, nor I know from where to begin to explain, that is the sacrificial ritual of one. When all the hustle-bustle have but dispersed, I stubbornly stood in front of altar. There was no music, no speech, no dance – only with a heart truly filled with respect for Master Kong.

很多人給我拍照,不用解釋,普通人的眼睛總是能看到美的。有許多傷痛無法平復,可喜的是,我已能夠用澄澈的心把他們包容下來,我依然只是做著我自己——
Many people took pictures for me. There is no need to explain that to the eyes of the normal people, all they see are the beautiful. Many wounds and scars cannot be remedied, but luckily, I already can contain them with a clear and open heart, and I still am merely being myself…

一件深衣,一份信仰,一個人。
One set of Shenyi, one set of beliefs, one person.

多年以後,我想我會記得這天,一場盛大的祭禮,一次對儒家文化的呼喚,一群崇尚傳統的中國人。
Many years later, I think I will still remember this day, with a grand sacrificial ceremony, a call out to Confucian culture, and a group of Chinese people who believe in tradition.

只是,我依然堅持的相信,這是一個人的祭禮——白衣勝雪、不染纖塵。
However, I still firmly believe, that this is a ceremony of one – with white robes purer than snow, unfazed by dirt and dust.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Yao
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 22:58:53

    deeply moved by this article. Thanks!

    Reply

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