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文化管窥:印度朝圣者献出头发祈求好运(图)

  Every year millions of people travel to two temples in southern India, hoping for an answer to their prayers. But every miracle requires a sacrifice - and many pilgrims sacrifice their hair.

  每年都有数以百万计的印度人去印度南部的两座神庙朝圣,祈求自己的愿望能够实现。然而,每一个奇迹的发生都需要作出牺牲——许多虔诚的朝圣者选择牺牲自己的头发。

  Gopala Amma is desperate to reverse her family’s bad fortune. They are in danger of losing the one room they share off a small alley in the Chennai suburb of Param Bur.

  Gopala Amma想尽办法来扭转她家的坏运气。他们即将失去在金奈郊区Param Bur的唯一一间住房。

  Amma works hard as a cleaner but is struggling to make ends meet. Her husband has lost his job and has begun to drink heavily, while her eldest son is failing in his studies. All this has prompted Amma to think of asking the Hindu gods for help.

  Amma是一名清洁工,工作非常辛苦,但仍不足以维持一家人的生计。她的丈夫丢了工作并染上了酗酒的习气;大儿子学习成绩也不如人意。所有这些促使她考虑去寻求印度教神灵的帮助。

  "I have decided to go to the temple at Tirutanni and shave my hair. That way, the gods will bless me and my family," she says.

  她说,“我已经决定去Tirutanni的神庙,献上我的头发。那样,神灵就会保佑我和我们一家。”

  This will not be just a snip but a full head shave - all 81cm (32in) of her long wavy locks will go. By sacrificing something so beautiful to the gods, by shedding her ego, she hopes they will bless her with good luck in return.

  那可不是仅仅剪短头发,而是剃光所有——她长长的81CM(32英寸)波浪型马尾。牺牲自我,把这么美好的东西献给神灵,Amma由衷的希望神灵能保佑她,回报她以好运。

  Human hair is valuable in India. Many of Amma’s female neighbours collect hair from their combs to sell or barter to the hair collectors who come once a month on scooters calling for "comb waste".

  在印度,头发是非常珍贵的。Amma的许多女邻居们总是从梳子上收集头发,待那些每月来一次的收头发小贩吆喝着“梳子上的废品”时,就把头发卖掉或者换来一些用品。

  They either trade the hair for pots or are given a few rupees, depending on the weight. The collectors then sell it to the factories.

  根据重量不同,这些头发能换来一些炊具或者几卢比零钱。小贩再把头发卖给工厂。

  But comb-waste hair tangles. Shaved hair is more highly valued because continues to fall naturally, as it did on the original owner’s head, and can be used to make a lifelike wig.

  但是从梳子上收集的头发会打结,而剃下来的头发是从主人头上连续、自然脱落的,可以用来制作栩栩如生的假发,故而更加珍贵。

  From Hollywood to the UK to South Africa, the most widely used human hair is Indian, as its texture resembles Caucasian hair, which the hairdressing industry deems desirable.

  不管是在美国、英国还是南非,运用最广泛的就是印度人的头发。因其质地非常像高加索人的发质,得到美发行业的一致认可。

  To India, the market is worth more than $250m annually. A kilo of shaved hair fetches up to $130, so a long head of hair such as Amma’s - which comes to about 160g - will be worth about $20 .

  在印度,这个市场的年交易值约为2.5亿美金。1千克头发的价格高达130美金,所以像Amma这样长的头发——重约160g,价值为20美元左右。

  But for Amma this is not important.

  但是对Amma来说这些并不重要。

  The practice of hair-shaving - or "tonsuring" as it is termed when done for religious reasons - is associated with an ancient Hindu myth.

  因着宗教原因的所谓剃发——或“削发”的行为,与一个古老的印度教神话相关。

  There are several versions of the myth but they centre on the god Vishnu, who was hit on the head with an axe, causing him to lose a section of his hair. The angel Neela Devi then offered a lock of her hair as a replacement, and Vishnu was so grateful that he thereafter granted wishes to anyone who offered their hair as a sacrifice.

  这个神话有许多版本,但都是有关于守护之神毗湿奴。他被斧头击中了头部,一部分头发开始脱落。另一位女神妮拉就将自己的一缕头发给了他作为替代。毗湿奴神对此非常感激,承诺将会实现那些献出头发的朝圣者的心愿。

  The southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are where most hair tonsuring in India takes place. Two of the main Hindu temples, in the towns of Tirutanni and Tirupati, collect tonnes of human hair every month.

  印度朝圣者献出头发主要发生在南部的泰米尔纳德邦和安得拉邦。Tirutanni 镇和Tirupati镇的两个主要的印度教寺庙,每月都会收集到数吨头发。

  Around the temple compounds, in long halls known as Kalyankattan or "places of happiness", hundreds of barbers dressed in white sit in rows, with pilgrims at their feet.

  在寺庙大院里被称为“kalyankattan”或“幸福地”的长廊里,穿着白色衣服的理发师坐成一排,朝圣者坐在他们的脚下等着剃发。

  "I feel quite shy having no hair but I am happy," explains one pilgrim who has just had her head shaved at Tirutanni.

  一个刚在Tirutanni剃完头发的朝圣者说,“光头让我觉得害羞,但我很幸福。”

  Auspicious days may be chosen for the ritual. One family is celebrating the parents’ 29 years of happy marriage. For another, it could be a sickness in the family or a pattern of bad luck that brings them here.

  进行这个仪式还得挑个吉利的日子。有一个家庭正在庆祝父母29年结婚纪念。另一些人,可能是家里有人生病或者是不走好运,也把他们带到了这里。

  For Amma, who is 36, it is her last resort. Her husband’s drinking has become incessant. She is determined not to lose her home and believes this is the only way to reverse her fortune.

  对于36岁的Amma来说,这是她最后的希望了。丈夫酗酒已成为家常便饭,她下定决心要保住房子,并深信这是扭转她命运的唯一办法了。

  "The gods will bless me if I do this," she says as she climbs the temple’s steps.

  她一边上着寺庙台阶一边说,“如果我献出了头发,神灵一定会保佑我的。”

  The shaving process is very quick, and those presenting their hair to the gods just sit down, put their heads in the hands of the barbers and then go.

  剃头的过程非常快,那些朝圣者只需要坐下来,把他们的脑袋交到理发师的手里,剃完就可以走了。

  Afterwards, however, they visit the temple to show their freshly-shaved scalps to the gods, so they can be blessed for their sacrifice.

  不过,之后,他们要到寺庙里,在神灵前展示刚刚剃过的头皮,这样就能被保佑。

  Amma looks at herself in the mirror and laughs at her changed appearance. She touches her head and says she likes the feel.

  Amma看着镜子中的自己,为自己的新发型感到好笑。她摸着光头说,挺喜欢这种感觉。

  "As the barber was shaving I felt my problems lifting away. Now things are going to get better."

  “随着头发被理发师剃掉,我感到我的烦恼也都随之而去了。现在一切都将变得更好。”

  She says she does not know where her hair will go. Told that traders sell it to make wigs and extensions all over the world, she laughs again.

  她说她不知道自己的头发最终会去往哪里。当得知商贩会拿去做假发,她的头发会走向世界各地时,她再次笑了。

  "If it makes someone else look beautiful then I am happy," Amma says, before heading out of the temple and beginning her journey home, to see if her life will change.

  Amma说,“如果我的头发能让别人变得更漂亮,那么我真的很开心。”接着,她将走出寺庙,开始她回家的旅程,看看她的生活会发生什么改变。


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