有一天我的中国朋友请了我和另外一个欧洲女孩去他们家玩儿. 我们近来了房间, 朋友的 妈妈很热情的对我们说欢迎欢迎, 请我们吃点水果. 我的那朋友她非常喜欢吃梨. 真好, 阿姨给她一个.我的朋友可不能 没有礼貌, 对我们欧洲人来说, 就是不好意思自己吃那么大的梨, 要分一下, 让别的朋友吃几块.她就问阿姨有没有袋子, 先把梨分了再吃.哟, 我们那时候不知道, 梨可不能分着吃 ! 今天看了书,有个解释, 就是 « 分梨 »和 « 分离 » 是同音. 因此,分梨是个忌讳 !
(我的中文有错误的话, 请中国朋友们帮我改正 !)
When I just came to China, I obviously couldn’t speak nor understand Chinese… At that time a Chinese friend of mine invited me and another European girl to her home. When we entered the place, my friend’s mother welcomed us and invited us to eat some fruit. My friend liked pears. But it’s quite impolite to grab a whole pear and eat it by yourself, so she asked for a knife to cut it in pieces. The mother pretended she did not hear (it’s impolite to refuse directly) and insisted on the girl eating the whole pear. What a cultural misunderstanding! The mother was embarrassed to refuse her guest’s request, and the guest was embarrassed to eat the whole fruit (quite big by the way) impolitely… Today I opened my Chinese book to finish lessons I didn’t have time to learn in China, and the name of the lesson was “Can’t cut a pear in pieces”. That’s how I remembered this small incident, which I never re-thought of before. In Chinese, “cut a pear” sounds exactly like “separate” (« 分梨 »and « 分离 »). That’s why nobody cuts pears in pieces before eating! Hopefully, my friend’s mother didn’t interpret that girl’s request like “I don’t want to stay in your home, I want to leave”…!