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他她话题:新加坡的国庆造人计划

中华考试网   2015-12-12   【

  When this small Asian city-state celebrates its independence today, Singaporeans are encouraged to show their patriotic fervor by displaying their country’s flag proudly, sharing snapshots of their favorite local foods and dancing along to a fresh new national theme song.

  2012年8月9日,新加坡这个亚洲的小型城市国家庆祝了自己的独立日。欢欣鼓舞的新加坡人尽情展现他们的爱国热情,自豪地挥舞国旗,分享自己最爱的当地美食的照片,伴着全新的国庆日主题曲载歌载舞。

  But there is another, distinctly unofficial, national song in Singapore these days. It is asking locals to try something else on their country’s big day: Make love for Singapore.

  不过,现在新加坡还有一首无疑非官方的国庆日主题曲,鼓励当地人以一种新的方式来庆祝节日:为新加坡造人。

  The soulful rap, which is part of a new ad campaign to promote Mentos mints, is called ’National Night,’ and it exhorts Singaporeans to ’do their civic duty’ to help solve the city-state’s low birthrate by making a baby on Aug. 9.

  这首热情的说唱音乐是曼妥思(Mentos)薄荷糖全新广告宣传的一部分,名叫“国庆之夜”(National Night)。歌曲倡议新加坡人“履行公民义务”,在8月9日的国庆日积极实施造人计划,帮国家解决出生率过低的问题。

  ’It’s National Night, let’s make Singapore’s birthrate spike,’ a female vocalist sings over jittery synthesizers and drumbeats, as her male counterpart shouts phrases like ’that’s right’ and ’the birthrate won’t spike itself!’

  在令人紧张的电子合成音乐和鼓点声中,一位女歌手唱道:“这是国庆之夜,让新加坡的出生率高飞。”一名男歌手则应和着“没错!”和“出生率不会自己高飞!”这样的话。

  ’Singapore’s population, it needs some increasin’, so forget waving flags, August 9th we be freaking,’ the rap continues.

  “新加坡需要人气,需要助力,别光挥舞国旗,8月9号一起用力。”歌曲继续唱道。

  The song has gone viral, taking on a life of its own on social networks across the famously staidcity-state. It is also raising the eyebrows of older residents who fret that it is mocking a seriousissue.

  这首歌在社交网络上如病毒般传播开来,迅速遍及新加坡这个以沉稳著称的城市国家。一些年长的居民为之侧目,觉得这是对一个严肃问题的不当调笑。

  Singapore’s leaders have worried for years about the country’s birthrate, which is among the lowest in the world at 7.72 births per 1,000 people, according to 2011 estimates from the CIA World Factbook. That means the country’s population would keep falling every year if authorities didn’t let in immigrants - a policy that doesn’t go down well with many locals, who say they resentnew arrivals who take jobs and strain local resources.

  多年来,新加坡的领导者一直在担心这个国家的出生率。根据《美国中央情报局世界概况》(CIA World Factbook)2011年的估计,新加坡出生率为千分之7.72,处于全世界最低水平。这意味着如果政府不引入移民,这个国家的人口每年都会减少;而移民政策并不为许多本地人所认可,他们认为新移民会抢走工作岗位,给当地的资源供应带来压力。

  The government has tried just about everything to get the birthrate back up. It has offered ’babybonus’ tax breaks and government-paid maternity leaves to new mothers. It has also set up a special government unit, the Social Development Unit (SDU), now renamed the SocialDevelopment Network, to help singles meet and mingle. Thanks to the unit, locals can sow the seeds of romance at government-subsidized speed dating events and salsa dance classes.

  政府已采取几乎一切手段来提升出生率,给予“生育奖金”(baby bonus)税收优惠,向新妈妈提供政府买单的产假,还设立一个特殊的政府部门“社交发展部”(Social Development Unit,简称SDU),现在更名为社交发展网(Social Development Network),帮助单身男女约会交往。在该部门的推动下,本地人可以在政府补贴费用的速配活动和萨尔萨(salsa)舞蹈班上擦出爱情的火花。

  Over the past year, the government has designed a series of instructional comics, including one exploring different ’love fallacies’ that singles often have. In one of the strips, a young woman tells her friend she is waiting for the ’right one’ to come along, only to find a 100-year-old man, lonely and wrinkled, as the only one who agrees with her. The comic comes with this advice: ’[A relationship] is a matter of going out of your comfort zone to meet new people. . .and not being afraid to love and commit.’

  过去一年,政府设计了一系列的教育漫画,其中一个探讨的是单身青年存在的各种“爱情误区”。在一幅漫画中,一名年轻女子对朋友说,她在等待那个“合适的人”,但最后只找到一位百岁老人,样子可爱但满脸皱纹,因为这是唯一一个符合她条件的人。漫画上写着一条忠告:“牵手成功在于走出自己的舒适区,去认识新的朋友,不要害怕爱与承诺。”

  National Day, which includes giant parades presided over by Singapore’s top leaders and lots ofmilitary displays, has become a prime forum for messages about making babies. At the 2008 National Day, for instance, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spent more than 5,000 words discussing Singapore’s falling birthrate. The speech included advice on how to change diapers.

  新加坡国庆日的庆祝活动包括政府领袖出席的盛大巡游和许多阅兵表演,同时也成为一个宣传“多生孩子”的主论坛。举例而言,在2008年的国庆日,新加坡总理李显龙(Lee Hsien Loong)用超过5000字的篇幅谈论新加坡不断下跌的出生率,演讲中甚至还提及了如何给婴儿换尿布。

  ’In the days before Pampers, you actually got to fold the cloth, you got to put it on, you got to put the safety pin in and I haven’t pricked any baby yet,’ Mr. Lee told a rapt nation. ’If I can do it, it means everybody can do it.’

  “在广泛使用帮宝适(Pampers)之前的时代,你得用布料做尿布,给婴儿穿上,用安全别针别好,我给孩子换尿布时,从来没扎疼过他们。”李显龙对专注聆听的全国人民说道,“如果我能做到,那每个人都能做到。”

  All that talk of making babies does seem to be having some impact. In 2003, according to surveys by condom maker Durex, Singapore was among the bottom three nations in the world when it came to frequency of having sex. Five years later, more Singaporeans were having sex at least once a week than Australians, Americans, British and Canadians, according to a similar survey by Durex.

  所有这些“多生孩子”的倡议似乎产生了一些效果。根据避孕套生产商杜蕾斯公司(Durex)做过的调查,2003年时,新加坡是全世界性生活频率最低的三个国家之一。五年后,根据杜蕾斯的类似调查,每周至少有一次性生活的新加坡人在比例上超过了澳大利亚人、美国人、英国人和加拿大人。

  But the birthrate has continued to decline steadily, although with a slight improvement in the number of babies born last year, according to government statistics.

  然而,据新加坡政府的统计数据,这个国家的出生率仍在稳步下降,只有去年的新出生婴儿数量稍有回升。

  Enter the Mentos campaign, which was composed independently of the government as a parodyof officially sanctioned National Day songs that play in the months leading up to Aug. 9 each year, and are sung during National Day parades.

  曼妥思的广告应运而生,这首非官方的歌曲有意模仿了那些政府指定的国庆日主题曲,后者在每年8月9日之前的数月就开始播放,并在国庆巡游上演唱。

  There is a new official song each year. This year, it is called ’Love at First Light,’ and comes with a music video highlighting Singapore’s newest attractions, like a new billion-dollar public park called Gardens by the Bay. It also celebrates Singapore’s ’lively ways’ and ’warm sunny days.’

  新加坡每年都有一首新的官方国庆日主题曲。今年的歌曲名为“爱在晨曦中”(Love at First Light),并配有音乐电视片展现新加坡最新热点,如在滨海湾(Bay)建设的耗资上十亿美元的公众公园Gardens等。歌曲还着意勾勒新加坡的“生机蓬勃”和“阳光明媚”。

  The Mentos rap has other ideas.

  然而,曼妥思的说唱音乐另有主意。

  ’Let’s not watch fireworks, let’s make ’em instead,’ the rap’s male vocalist croons. ’It’s National Night and I want a baby, boo, I know you want it, so does the SDU.’

  一位男歌手这样唱道:“大家不必看烟花,我们自己做烟花,国庆之夜值千金,你的心思我明白,我们来个小宝宝,SDU也喜欢。”

  The song, devised by ad agency BBH Asia-Pacific and spread via social media, is part of Mentos’s plan to launch a special ’I Heart SG’ pack of their signature mints for this year’s National Day. The agency was asked to come up with a campaign to ’prove how much Mentos really ’hearts’ ’ Singapore, according to the project’s creative director, Adrian Chan.

  这首歌由百比赫亚太广告公司(BBH Asia-Pacific)策划,并通过社交媒体传播开来,其目的是宣传曼妥思为今年国庆日推出的一款主题薄荷糖“我爱新加坡”(I Heart SG)。该项目的创意总监阿德里安•陈(Adrian Chan)说,曼妥思要求百比赫公司想出一个广告方案来,“证明曼妥思真的很爱新加坡。”

  ’Mentos has always stood for ’fresh thinking,’ so we decided to apply some to an issue that is very close to home: our declining national birthrate,’ said Mr. Chan.

  阿德里安说:“曼妥思的广告一直以‘全新思考’而著称,因此我们决定把曼妥思与新加坡本土的一件大事联系起来:即不断下降的出生率。”

  In one part of the song, one of the singers advises, ’come on now, let’s get that baby bonus.’ And in case any locals might be offended, a singer says listeners should just get over it and, ’well, get [their] National Night on.’

  在歌曲中,一位歌手唱道:“现在行动起来,去拿生育奖金。” 有一位歌手说,即使一些新加坡人觉得歌词不动听,他们也应该把不快抛在脑后,“在国庆之夜行动起来。”

  Some Singaporeans were tut-tutting as the song went viral.

  当这首歌广为传播时,有些新加坡人却对此不以为然。

  ’The clip should not be shown during the National Day Parade season. . .you do not want totrivialize the baby issue,’ said Lee Chun Wah, a professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore specializing in brand communication.

  “这首歌不应该出现在迎接国庆的日子里……出生率这种大问题不能拿来随便调笑。”新加坡南洋理工大学(Nanyang Technological University)讲授品牌沟通技巧的教授Lee Chun Wah说道。

  ’The conservative folks - the traditional ’heartlanders’ - may be offended,’ he said, adding that he personally finds the song ’hilarious.’

  “新加坡的保守人士──即传统的‘本土核心人群’(heartlander)──可能会感觉不快。”他说,并表示自己觉得这首歌“滑稽可笑”。

  Mr. Chan said he hopes the government will like it, given the importance and urgency of the issueof fertility in the city-state. Officials contacted about the song and its video said only that Singapore’s government wasn’t involved.

  阿德里安说,他希望政府喜欢这首歌,因为它唱出了生育问题对于这个城市国家的重要性和紧迫性。接触过这首歌曲及其音乐电视的官员只是表示,新加坡政府没有参与这首歌的制作和宣传。

  The video does come with an important disclaimer. Only ’financially secure adults in stable,committed, long-term relationships should participate,’ it advises.

  音乐电视中倒是有一条重要的免责声明:建议只有那些“经济条件良好且双方关系长期稳定的成年人才应参与国庆造人计划。”

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