Anonymous 無名

My grandmother has no name.  I once was angry. How can anyone have no name? Then my brother explained that it was not an insult, not a neglect. Just was. There was a place for a culture where people were known as themselves, without a label called a name. That place was not far from Cassia Forest.

我的祖母沒有名字。我曾經很生氣。哪有人沒有名字? 我哥哥跟我解釋,沒有名字,不代表不重要,不在乎。沒有是另一種存在。從前,有一個地方,有一種文化,人就是人,不用藉一個叫做名字的標籤去了解。那個地方,離桂林不遠。

My grandmother is a Zhuang, a minority group in China. We know her last name is Ben. Tickets in hand, I am about to start a journey back to Cassia Forest.  I want to find my grandmother’s village. Without a name, how do I do a google search?   Maybe I can walk around villages with her last name, and see if I can see faces that look familiar, like my father, my aunt, brothers, sister and cousins.

我的祖母是壯人。我們知道她姓賁。機票在手,我馬上要去桂林了。我想去找祖母的村寨。沒有名字,網上怎麼搜尋? 也許我可以走訪跟她同姓的村寨,看看村人是不是看來眼熟,長得像爸爸,姑姑,哥哥,姐姐跟表哥表姐。

I travel often, but never travel without knowing the next destination. There are some level of anxiety, and come with it more excitement than usual.  Cassia Forest is a beautiful place. Zhuang culture is fascinating, and may be I can stay long enough to learn a few sentences, a few songs and the way of living. In a place where anonymous was the norm, I’ll travel without a known destination.

我雖常常旅行,可都是清清楚楚的規劃好了要去哪裡。這回沒有明確的目的地,有一層焦慮,更有一層冒險的興奮。桂林山水甲天下。壯文化耐人尋思。也許我可以住一陣子學幾句壯話,幾首壯歌,熟習一下不同的生活。在一個人不需要名字的地方,我應該可以不需要目的地的旅行。

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