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握手是怎么成为通用的问候方式的?

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2020-04-14  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

为了阻止新冠病毒的传播,人们已经停止握手,改为其他问候方式。握手是从什么时候起成为现代通用的问候方式的呢?历史学家表示,这个真不太好说。

Shaking hands seems like a gesture that has been around forever. Indeed, a throne base from the reign of ancient Assyria's Shalmaneser III in the 9th century BCE clearly shows two figures clasping hands. The Iliad, usually dated to the 8th century BCE, mentions that two characters “clasped each other's hands and pledged their faith.” Centuries later, Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It that two characters “shook hands and swore brothers.” It might seem like shaking hands is an ancient custom, the roots of which are lost to the sands of time.

握手作为一种打招呼的方式似乎一直都存在。确实,公元前9世纪亚述国王撒缦以色三世统治时期的宝座上就刻着两个人握手的图案。通常认为创作于公元前8世纪的《伊利亚德》也提到,两个角色“握住彼此的手,以表忠心”。几个世纪之后,莎士比亚在《皆大欢喜》中写道,两个角色“握手并结为兄弟”。握手也许看起来是一种古老的习俗,但随着时间的流逝,已经难以寻根溯源。

Except.

不过也未必。

Historians who have pored over old etiquette books have noticed that handshaking in the modern sense of a greeting doesn’t appear until the mid-19th century, when it was considered a slightly improper gesture that should only be used with friends. But if Shakespeare was writing about shaking hands a few hundred years earlier, what happened?

翻遍礼仪典籍的历史学家注意到,握手作为现代的问候方式直到19世纪中期才出现,当时握手被认为是一种有点不得体的姿势,只有在朋友之间才能使用。但既然莎士比亚在几百年前就把握手写进了书中,那么这中间发生了什么呢?

DEFINING THE HANDSHAKE
握手的内涵

According to author Torbjörn Lundmark in his Tales of Hi and Bye: Greeting and Parting Rituals Around the World, the problem comes in differing definitions of the handshake. The early handshakes mentioned above were part of making deals or burying the hatchet; Shalmaneser III’s throne base references him honoring a treaty with the Babylonian king during a revolt. In the Iliad, Diomedes and Glaucus shook hands when they realized they were “guest-friends,” and Diomedes proclaimed “Let’s not try to kill each other.” Shakespeare was similarly referencing settlement of a conflict.

根据作家托尔伯恩·德马克的著作《打招呼的故事:世界各地欢迎和告别的礼仪》,问题来自握手定义的差别。上述的早期握手是达成协议或和解的一部分:撒缦以色三世的宝座上刻画的是他在一次叛乱中履行和巴比伦国王的合约;在《伊利亚德》中,狄俄墨得斯和格劳克斯在意识到他们是“客人朋友”时握了手,狄俄墨得斯宣称“让我们不要再与彼此为敌”;同样,莎士比亚也是在描述解决冲突的场面。

bury the hatchet: v. 和解;停战

The modern handshake as a form of greeting is harder to trace. Traditionally, the origins are often given to the Quakers. But as Dutch sociologist Herman Roodenburg—the chief authority for the history of handshaking—wrote in a chapter of an anthology called A Cultural History of Gesture, “More than in any other field, that of the study of gesture is one in which the historian has to make the most of only a few clues”.

作为问候方式的现代握手起源更难追溯。传统上,人们通常认为贵格会信徒是最早用握手来打招呼的。但荷兰社会学家赫尔曼·卢登伯格——握手史的权威人物——在选集《手势的文化历史》的一章中写道:“和其他领域相比,历史学家只能通过寥寥无几的线索来研究手势。”

One of the earliest clues he cites is a 16th-century German translation of the French writer Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel. When one character meets Gargantua, Rabelais writes (in one modern English translation), “he was greeted with a thousand caresses, a thousand embraces, a thousand good-days.” But according to Roodenburg, the 16th-century German translation adds references to shaking hands.

他提到的最早的一个线索是16世纪法国作家拉伯雷的《巨人传》的德语译本。在现代英语译本中,当一个角色遇到卡冈都亚时,拉伯雷写道:“欢迎他的是一千个爱抚、一千个拥抱和一千个问候。”但是卢登伯格指出,16世纪的德语译本提到了握手。

There's additional evidence for a handshaking tradition in that era: In 1607 the author James Cleland (believed to have been a Scotsman living in England) proclaimed that instead of things like bowing down to everyone’s shoes and kissing hands, he’d rather “retaine our good olde Scottish shaking of the two right hands together at meeting with an vncouered head".

还有一个握手传统起源于那个年代的证据:1607年作家詹姆士·克雷兰德(据认为是生活在英格兰的一个苏格兰人)宣称,与其让他深深地鞠躬和亲吻别人的手,他宁愿“保持古老的苏格兰习俗,在会面时低头伸出右手相握”。

HANDSHAKING—BACK TO THE FUTURE
握手的历史回顾

A popular hypothesis suggests that Cleland’s statements against bowing were actually a wish to go back to a potentially very traditional (though poorly recorded) method of greeting in Europe. As the centuries progressed, handshaking was replaced by more ‘hierarchical’ ways of greeting—like bowing. According to Roodenburg, handshaking survived in a few niches, like in Dutch towns where they’d use the gesture to reconcile after disagreements. Around the same time, the Quakers—who valued equality—also made use of the handshake. Then, as the hierarchies of the continent weakened, the handshake re-emerged as a standard greeting among equals—the way it remains today.

一个流传较广的假说认为,克雷兰德反对鞠躬的声明其实是想回到欧洲传统的问候方式(尽管鲜有记载)。几百年间,握手被更为“等级化”的问候方式取代了——比如鞠躬。卢登伯格称,握手作为打招呼的方式在一些偏僻的地方保留了下来,比如荷兰的某些城镇居民会用握手来言和。大约在同一时期,重视平等的贵格会信徒也采用了握手的问候方式。随着欧洲大陆的等级制度被削弱,握手重新成为地位相同的人之间通用的打招呼方式,直至今日。

Not everyone fell in love with the handshake, however. According to an article from December 1884, “the usage has found its way into other nations, but so contrary is it to their instinct, that, in France, for example, a society has been recently formed to abolish ‘le shake-hands’ as a vulgar English innovation.”

不过,不是每个人都喜欢握手的问候方式。1884年12月的一篇文章曾写道:“这种用法已经普及到其他国家,但是法国人认为这实在有违本性,于是近日就成立了一个社团来废除握手的问候方式,认为这是粗俗的英格兰人的发明。”

As for why shaking hands was deemed a good method of greeting, rather than some other gesture, the most popular explanation is that it incapacitates the right hand, making it useless for weapon holding. In the 19th century it was argued that shaking hands without removing gloves was quite rude and required an immediate apology. One 1870 text explains that this “idea would also seem to be an occult remnant of the old notion that the glove might conceal a weapon.”

至于为什么握手被视为一种打招呼的好方法,而非其他,最普遍的解释是它占用了右手,让其无法持有武器。在19世纪,人们认为戴着手套握手是一种相当无礼的行为,需要立刻道歉。1870年的一段文字解释说“这种想法似乎也是老观念的一种神秘延续,旧时认为手套可能会隐藏武器”。

incapacitate[ˌɪnkəˈpæsɪteɪt]: vt. 使无能力;使不能;使不适于

Sadly, in a world where obscure Rabelais translations provide critical evidence, the true reason may remain forever elusive.

可悲的是,在一个只有拉伯雷的不知名译本能提供关键证据的世界,握手的真正起源可能会永远不为人所知。


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