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紐時賞析/受虐遭棄… 印度寡婦庇護所 她們找到新家

2019-09-11 16:06紐時賞析

沃林達文寡婦庇護所裡,寡婦們在識字班上學習寫字。 法新社
沃林達文寡婦庇護所裡,寡婦們在識字班上學習寫字。 法新社
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A Sanctuary for India's Abused and Exiled Widows

受虐遭棄… 印度寡婦庇護所 她們找到新家

Like thousands of other widows exiled from their homes to a city in northern India, Nirmala Maheshwari said she was abused by her family after her husband died.

和其他數以千計被家人逐出,逃至印度北部一個城市的寡婦一樣,妮爾瑪拉.馬赫希瓦里說,丈夫去世後,她被家人虐待。

“They saw me as a burden,” Maheshwari whispered recently, recalling her first day at a new shelter for widows in Vrindavan, as other women crowded around her bed, comforting her by squeezing her shoulders and hands.

「他們認為我是個累贅。」馬赫希瓦里日前小聲說道,她回想起在沃林達文的寡婦庇護所的第一天,其他婦人聚集在她床邊,摟著肩膀或握著手安慰她。

Maheshwari said she had lost her social value in the eyes of her family, and her son and other relatives starved and beat her.

馬赫希瓦里說,她在家人眼中已不具社會價值,她的兒子和其他親戚讓她挨餓並且毆打她。

Given her lowly status at home, Maheshwari said she was shocked when she stepped into the lobby of her new home: the Krishna Kutir ashram, a government-run facility with about 1,000 beds, a freshly dug swimming pool, and free food and medicine.

因在家中地位低,馬赫希瓦里說,當她走進新家、政府營運的「克里希那庫提爾靜修院」的大廳時覺得不可置信,這裡約有1000個床位、剛挖好的游泳池、免費的食物和醫藥。

Hindu brides are often expected to live with their husbands’ families. This weakens ties with their own, and widowhood can spell disaster. Without a husband, a small portion of India’s 40 million or so widows are violently purged from their homes each year.

印度教新娘常被期待和夫家同住,這削弱了她們和娘家的連結,守寡可能意味著災難。因為少了丈夫,每年印度約4000萬名寡婦中有一小部分被以暴力趕出家門。

But many of India’s castaway widows — most of them illiterate, some married off as infants — have seen significant improvements in their quality of life over the past few years. Prodded by a flurry of public petitions and court rulings, the government and rights groups have invested tens of millions of dollars into lifting the conditions of abandoned women.

然而,印度這些大多不識字,有些嬰兒時期就被配婚的受遺棄寡婦,有許多人這些年來生活品質已大見改善。在一連串公眾請願和法院判決的激勵下,政府和人權團體已投注數千萬美元改善這些被遺棄女性的處境。

The money has gone not only into building group homes for widows, but also to funding pensions and providing work training and medical treatment.

這些錢不只用於建造寡婦的集體住所,也拿來資助養老金及提供職業訓練和醫療照護。

While some of these changes are taking place across India, they are most visible in Vrindavan.

雖然印度各地或多或少都有些改變,卻以沃林達文的改變最為顯著。

The town is a maze of narrow streets and regal, sandstone temples. All day long, thousands of pilgrims gather to pray at the base of giant statues of deities.

這個城鎮是狹窄的街道和莊嚴的沙岩寺廟組成的迷宮,終日可見數以千計的朝聖者聚集在巨大神像的基座祈禱。

It is believed that widows have gathered in the city since Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a 16th-century Bengali social reformer, brought a group of them there to escape from suttee, a now-banned practice in which Hindu widows immolated themselves on their husbands’ funeral pyres.

據信寡婦聚集在這座城市始於16世紀,孟加拉社會改革家柴坦尼亞.摩訶巴布帶了一群寡婦來此,以逃避娑提,這是一項現已禁止的習俗,印度教徒寡婦在丈夫火化時投身火堆,自焚殉葬。

For many years, the widows in Vrindavan, which is considered the childhood home of the Hindu god Krishna, have survived by singing devotional songs in temples for a few rupees a day, and by begging for money in white saris, a signifier that color had drained from their lives.

沃林達文被認為是印度教神明黑天神的兒時住所,多年來,這裡的寡婦賴以維生之計,全靠在廟宇唱祈禱歌曲一天賺幾盧比小錢,以及穿著象徵人生不再有色彩的白紗麗行乞。

Homelessness was common among Vrindavan’s widows. Some lived in doorways. When they died, garbage collectors would sometimes stuff their bodies into jute bags and throw them into the Yamuna River, according to local media reports.

在沃林達文的寡婦無家可歸者相當常見,有些人住在走廊。當地媒體報導,當她們死去後,垃圾清運者有時候會將她們的遺體塞進袋子,扔進亞穆納河。

文/Kai Schultz 譯/莊蕙嘉

印度教養老金孟加拉紐約時報

紐時賞析

精選紐約時報精彩報導譯為中文並刊出原文,配合賞析導讀,讓讀者除了學英語也能深入了解全球文化。

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