Maria Holland

A Woman By Any Other Name

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 12:31 am

I picked up my dress from the tailor today!  You have to wait until Easter for pictures, but I will say that I was quite impressed with his handiwork and will be patronizing his shop again :)

Quick story from that trip: The tailor is located on the second story of a huge fabric mall.  One of the storekeepers had quite a large open fire going in front of their shop, burning trash I think.  It was terrifying, and reminded me of the workers who would weld in the hay barn back on the farm . . .

After visiting the tailor, I had lunch with Aleid and Liz at a new restaurant.  It feels like I’ve been to every restaurant near West Gate, but it’s really just that I only notice the ones I’ve been to.  This one was . . . interesting.  Basically a manicure parlor with a hot plate out back, I think. 

This afternoon’s listening class featured a very useful text: 称呼女人真难, or Addressing Women is Really Hard.  It’s true; Chinese does not have the simple senora/senorita of Spanish or even the slightly more ambiguous Miss/Ms./Mrs. of English.  Instead, there is a staggering array of choices, each with their own connotations and applicable situations: 女生, 小妹, 小姐, 大姐, 大嫂, 姑娘, 美女, 女士, 阿姨, 太太, 大妈, 奶奶.  Sometimes 小姐 means a prostitute; 太太 can only be used if they’re married; many of the terms include family relations and are only appropriate for people you’re close to; 大妈 and 奶奶 will offend people who aren’t over 60 . . . it just goes on and on like this.  The above list doesn’t even include the gender-ambiguous terms like job titles which, while being nearly fool-proof, do tend to further complicate the situation. 

In getting ready for the events of Holy Week and the Octave of Easter, I spent some time online tracking down translations of the Regina Caeli and Divine Mercy Chaplet.  I was again struck by the serious lack of information in simplified Chinese, but at the same time there is a lot to rejoice about.  I found some amazing new resources including a nice bilingual Bible and a compilation of prayers sung in Chinese. 

Also, I recently read two articles recently that illustrate how far the cause of religious freedom has come (despite still having very far to go).  The 10th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Kung, one of the first Chinese cardinals, was just observed this month, and reading about his story reminds me of the suffering that Chinese Christians have gone through in their past.  How far do we have to go back in America’s history to find a martyr?  I was also really moved by the story of the first two priests to be ordained from one of India’s minority populations, who are now able to serve their people in their own language. 

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