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【非洲異國情】繼後香燈

 

中國古語有云:不孝有三, 無後為大。生養立後,對夫婦婚後最大的任務都莫過於此,不但是為開枝散業,也要繼承祖業存後,使宗室有人續後。與中國文化有許多相同地方,非洲人對生兒育女也是如此的看重。

生育是兩人和兩族的福禍

非洲人對生養看為不但是個人的事,更是一家一族的大事。所以男女結婚不單是兩人的事,更是一件連結兩個家系和群族的事情,結婚其中主要目的是能使家族和社群能伸延,夫婦在此是以生養兒女來達成這個責任,故此生育是一件神聖的工作,有兒女的夫婦才被族人算為成人和有體面的族人。不育對夫婦是件不幸的事或視為沒有神的祝福,在人前還是個未成年的小伙子。婦人會被夫家的人所輕視,婚姻被算為無效,丈夫也會因此另娶。生育在非洲的文化道德體系中,是人在婚姻裏的權利。未婚有生育或與異性有性行為都是家庭民族的羞辱和不容許的,犯案者要受到族群家法的懲處。不幸,今天在文明的沖激下,許多無知的少女貪圖利益,受不著利誘而失身成孕,她們也少有墮胎的觀念,只待嬰兒生下來後,便帶他回娘家由外家撫養。

嬰孩從何而來?

在文明社會裏,由受孕成胎至嬰孩出生仍是個奧秘,醫療學說和儀器探測下也可所追尋和了解。但非洲傳統的觀念裏,生存與死亡兩者有很大的關連。非洲人認為人與萬物都是在「生存」與「死亡」之間的力量中存留,健壯者是其生命元氣旺盛,患病者是生命元氣衰弱,或云:「我們活得很微小。」故此,先人死後仍與在世的家人聯繫溝通。另有一種的信念是投胎論,與印度教和佛教的投胎說有別,當然是一宗悲劇。非洲的投胎觀是一件萬眾祈待的事,他們相信人死後,他的魂魄會進入一個或多個有身孕女子的胎腹內,取其胎兒肉體而再進世間為人。所以非洲人對家人喪亡並不感到損失,反而祈望老病者能早日轉世再來,婦女生產的嬰孩也可能是族人為先祖轉世投胎尋覓的對象。因此,生生不息的生產與投胎,是實現一個族群的目標。

生育之苦

在非洲的婦女生育可遇上許多危險。當地女子生育年齡可早由九歲起至卅歲。由於鄉間生活困苦,父母安排剛早熟的女兒出嫁,以減輕生活負擔。可是這兩種年齡的孕婦都屬生產高危人仕,不少因各種產前產後的身體問題而喪命。傳統上,一般婦女是在家中妊娠,由村內的一位有經驗的「執媽」負責,或由其母親等親人協助。不過,遇有缺乏經驗人仕的地方。婦女要到遙遠城鎮的醫院才可作檢查和生產,更有一些缺乏經費的孕婦家庭,要受到貪婪的醫生所留難而無力付昂貴醫療費用,所以孕婦生育和產後的醫療照顧是許多人的顧慮。某些鄉村缺乏醫療設備,婦女有健康檢查需要時,只能選用驢拉木頭車走崎嶇泥路到幾十多公里外的醫院求診,對孕婦們造成許多不便甚或有生命危險。筆者曾為一位在村內沙漠區居住的身孕重的婦人,因缺乏經費而要在家裏分娩。前一天晚上她在身孕重至胎水破了,因某種身體原因,她無力生產,胎兒在母腹內擠了一個晚上,她父親翌日遇到我們到訪他的鄉村而急來求救。經過一番的奔波,筆者成功駕車將孕婦送到幾十公里外的一間公立醫院,胎兒最後順利被取出,是個健康頭生的男嬰,母親和一家都感到快慰。

生養眾多的大陸

非洲都是個充滿生養眾多的民族,每戶生有 6 至 10 子女是很普遍的現象。非洲人都喜悅生兒育女,夫婦婚後首要的事是要完成這件神聖的工作。另外,生養要多是因生活勞動人力的需要,特別是農村耕種的村民,所謂人多好做作。還有,多兒女可以保障家族利益和安全,如聖經所言:壯年時所生的兒女就如箭袋裏裝滿了箭,在城門前與仇敵對峙也不至羞愧。多生育也是因當地嬰孩夭折率和患病喪命率高,而要多生來填補。有不少貧窮地區,因沒有家庭節育計劃而生育失控。非洲各國也在城市化等變遷影響,許多人口湧進城市謀生,城市有限資源和建設速度,未能追上湧進城的外來人口等,15 歲以下的佔全國超過半數人口。在城市成長的一代也漸減少生育,而在鄉村生養多的風氣仍盛行,長成的新一代多缺乏接受教育和有獨立生活和工作技能的培養,他們跑到城市謀生,在人浮於事的城市謀生,又缺乏技能,只有從事勞動工作如苦力和流動小販,也造成許多失業和罪惡滋生,這也是生養多但無接好良好教育的非洲普遍現象。

非洲在近半個世紀人口增長迅速。雖然身處許多天災人禍的大陸,國家政治缺乏長久穩定,社會發展欠完善,但他們仍然奉行生養眾多習慣。在缺乏和貧困交錯中,他們家人間的關係更顯緊密,無論在家或隔遠都發揮出兄友弟恭,彼此捨己的相助,這實是難能可貴的。

參考:

Anderson, Allan. 2012. African Religions - Rituals, World, Burial, Body, Funeral, Life, Customs, Beliefs, Time. Encyclopedia of Life and Death. http://www.deathreference.com/A-Bi/African-Religions.html (accessed Sept. 14th 2012)

Doh, Emmanuel Fru. 2009. Stereotyping Africa. Surprising Answers to Surprising Questions. Bamenda, NW Region Cameroon: Langaa RPCIG.

喜樂 Joy

喜樂的心乃是良藥;憂傷的靈使骨枯乾。箴言 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

然而,我要因耶和華歡欣,因救我的 神喜樂。哈巴谷書 3:18
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:18

要常常喜樂,不住的禱告,凡事謝恩。帖撒羅尼迦前書 5:16-17
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

饒恕 Forgiveness

主啊,你本為良善,樂意饒恕人,有豐盛的慈愛賜給凡求告你的人。詩篇 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5

你不要說:“我要以惡報惡”;要等候耶和華,他必拯救你。箴言 20:22
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you. Proverbs 6:14

你們饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必饒恕你們的過犯;馬太福音 6:14
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

你們不饒恕人的過犯,你們的天父也必不饒恕你們的過犯。馬太福音 6:15
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15

你們各人若不從心裡饒恕你的弟兄,我天父也要這樣待你們了。馬太福音 18:35
This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart. Matthew 18:35

謙卑 Humility

敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑。箴言 15:33
Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:33

敬畏耶和華心存謙卑,就得富有、尊榮、生命為賞賜。箴言 22:4
Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

凡事不可結黨,不可貪圖虛浮的榮耀;只要存心謙卑,各人看別人比自己強。腓立比書 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

但他賜更多的恩典,所以經上說:神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。雅各書 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

驕傲 Pride

驕傲來,羞恥也來;謙遜人卻有智慧。箴言 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

驕傲只啟爭競;聽勸言的,卻有智慧。箴言 13:10
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Proverbs 13:10

驕傲在敗壞以先;狂心在跌倒之前。箴言 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

但他賜更多的恩典,所以經上說:神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。雅各書 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

忍耐 Patience

愚妄人怒氣全發;智慧人忍氣含怒。箴言 29:11
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11

並且你們要為我的名,被眾人恨惡,惟有忍耐到底的,必然得救。馬可福音 13:13
Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13

不但如此,就是在患難中也是歡歡喜喜的。因為知道患難生忍耐。羅馬書 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Romans 5:3

我們行善,不可喪志;若不灰心,到了時候就要收成加拉太書 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

你們也當忍耐,堅固你們的心,因為主來的日子近了。雅各書 5:8
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:8

溫柔 Meekness

回答柔和,使怒消退;言語暴戾,觸動怒氣。箴言 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

溫柔的人有福了,因為他們必承受地土。馬太福音 5:5
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

用溫柔勸戒那抵擋的人;或者 神給他們悔改的心,可以明白真道。提摩太後書 2:25
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:25

只要以裡面存著長久溫柔、安靜的心為妝飾;這在 神面前是極寶貴的。彼得前書 3:4
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4

嫉妒 Envy

不要為作惡的心懷不平,也不要向那行不義的生出嫉妒。詩篇 37:1
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. Psalm 37:1

心中安靜是肉體的生命;嫉妒是骨中的朽爛。箴言 14:30
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

在何處有嫉妒、紛爭,就在何處有擾亂和各樣的壞事。雅各書 3:16
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16

生氣 Anger

當止住怒氣,離棄忿怒;不要心懷不平,以致作惡。詩篇 37:8
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

好生氣的人,不可與他結交;暴怒的人,不可與他來往。箴言 22:24
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered. Proverbs 22:24

愚妄人怒氣全發;智慧人忍氣含怒。箴言 29:11
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11

生氣卻不要犯罪.不可含怒到日落。以弗所書 4:26
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26

我親愛的弟兄們,這是你們所知道的,但你們各人要快快的聽,慢慢的說,慢慢的動怒,因為人的怒氣並不成就 神的義。雅各書 1:19,20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19,20

災難 Calamity

謹守口與舌的、就保守自己免受災難。箴言 21:23
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23

民要攻打民、國要攻打國、多處必有地震、饑荒.這都是災難的起頭。馬可福音 13:8
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:8

憂愁 Worry

你們不要憂愁、因靠耶和華而得的喜樂是你們的力量。尼希米記 8:10
Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

主雖使人憂愁, 還要照他諸般的慈愛發憐憫。耶利米哀歌 3:32
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. Lamentations 3:32

凡勞苦擔重擔的人,可以到我這裡來,我就使你們得安息。馬太福音 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

我留下平安給你們、我將我的平安賜給你們.我所賜的、不像世人所賜的.你們心裏不要憂愁、也不要膽怯。約翰福音 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

應當一無掛慮,只要凡事藉著禱告、祈求和感謝,將你們所要的告訴神。神所賜出人意外的平安,必在基督耶穌裡,保守你們的心懷意念。腓立比書 4:6,7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

因此, 你們是大有喜樂, 但如今, 在百般的試煉中暫時憂愁。彼得前書 1:6
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 1:6

患難 Trouble, Suffering

義人多有苦難,但耶和華救他脫離這一切。詩篇 34:19
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19

神是我們的避難所,是我們的力量,是我們在患難中隨時的幫助!詩篇 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

耶和華本為善,在患難的日子為人的保障,並且認得那些投靠他的人。那鴻書 1:7
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

為義受逼迫的人有福了,因為天國是他們的。馬太福音 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

不但如此,就是在患難中,也是歡歡喜喜的。因為知道患難生忍耐。羅馬書 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Romans 5:3

我想現在的苦楚,若比將來要顯於我們的榮耀,就不足介意了。羅馬書 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

因為你們蒙恩,不但得以信服基督,並要為他受苦。腓立比書 1:29
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him. Philippians 1:29

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