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亚裔教育狂热让我们同聚Willowdale小区
Asians' education fever draws us to this neighbourhood

我住在多伦多的北约克Willowdale的一条优雅街区。夏季,成荫的绿数覆盖这个街区,而冬季则可享受银装素裹的美景。

I live in a Toronto’s tony Willowdale neighbourhood. In summer canopy magnificently appears in the tree-lined street, and in winter, the neighbourhood is painted white in snow.

 
2000年我入住该小区时,多伦多的华裔移民潮尚未到来。望子成龙望的华裔家长们通常都在看房时将当地学校教学质量作为选择居住小区的首要因素,而我也未能免俗(Very Good)。我在简单地看了几栋房后,就一眼盯上了这个小区。不为别的,就是因为这个小区有一所著名小学,它连续数年在大多伦多区排名榜首。

I moved into this neighbourhood in 2000, before waves of Chinese immigrants flooded to the city. As a member of Asian community who put special values in children’s education, the quality of school has always been the top consideration in their neighbourhood assessment. I became very interested in this neighbourhood only after a brief house hunting experience. It was the elementary school – which was ranked as the top schools in GTA for several years in a row– that caught my eye and made me decide to move in. 

 
当时的小区还是一个非常多元化的社区,有不少白人老年人都居住在这里,从退休的专业人士到家庭主妇无所不包。在炎炎夏日的周末,当我路过这些邻居的门前时常常会和他们聊上几句,我们会交流人生体验,谈论文化价值观并讨论一些社会热点问题。

Back then, it was quite a diverse neighbourhood. There were quite a few senior white people -- from retired professionals to homemakers living here.  During those hot summer weekends, I often struck up some random chats with them as I passed by their houses, during which we exchanged life experiences, cultural values and social concerns.

 
教育问题常常是我们讨论的主要话题。当《麦克林》杂志的《太亚洲化》一文在华裔社区引发热议时,我的邻居们也争执不休,纷纷各抒己见。住得离我不远的迈克是一位从业数十年的家庭法律师,他是这篇文章的观点的强烈赞同者。

Education always became the topic of our discussions. When Maclean magazine’s article “Too Asians” sparked a heated controversy in the Chinese community, it also stirred a wave of debates in the neighbourhood. Mike, who lived a few doors away from mine, was a lawyer with decades of practices in family law. He was a strong supporter of the opinion expressed in the article:

 
记得迈克常说:“亚裔学生虽然成绩优异,但我不认为他们在职场会像白人那么成功,有太多亚裔学生一窝蜂地去就读医学院,这可不是什么好事,我可不想看到将来有一天加拿大的诊所里全让亚裔医生占领了!”

“Asian students have great grades at school, but I don’t think they are quite successful as whites in their professional careers,” he would say.  “Too many Asians got into medical schools and that caused a great concern… I’m afraid that one day all medical clinics in Canada are occupied by Asian doctors!”

 
迈克的言论常会让我的另一个邻居,一位有亚裔血统的加国教师深感不满。但在他在谴责迈克其言论带有种族歧视的同时,却也会对亚裔学生的语言沟通能力表示担忧:

His comments often irritated another neighbour of mine, a school teacher with an Asian ancestry. He accused Mike for being racist, but expressed concerns over Asian students’ communication skills.

 
“许多亚裔学生非常聪明,但是很多人缺乏语言技能。如果一个医生无法与患者进行沟通,她还当什么医生?”

“Many Asian students are extremely smart, but some lack good language skills… What’s good about a doctor if she can’t talk with a patient?”

 
随着大批中国移民涌入多伦多,我们小区的人口结构也在渐渐发生变化。随着有越来越多亚洲父母送子女到海外留学,小区附近的社区学院亦愈发受到众多中国留学生的青睐。我所住街区的房屋因为地段优越并且交通便利,自然也就成了他们心中最理想的居所。

As time goes by, the neighbourhood has gone through demographic transition, as Toronto receives a large wave of immigrants from China. Amid a growing trend of Asian parents sending their children to pursue foreign study overseas, the community college in the nearby neighbourhood has attracted a lot of students from China.  Houses on our street that provides the best location and convenience have become the ideal residence for them.

 
过去几年里,我的许多白人邻居都已经卖掉自己的住房。迈克和另一个邻居去世了,而其他人则是以大房换小屋而搬离了多伦多,而他们出售的大部分房屋都被大陆新移民买走。

Over the past few years, many senior white families sold their homes. Mike and another neighbour died while others decided to downsize and moved out from Toronto. Most of their homes were bought by newcomers from China.

 
小区的这些变化给其余老住户带来很大影响。由于房屋不断转手导致房价飙升,小区内的大部分业主都面临物业税上涨。此外,有关乱丢废弃物,非法倾倒垃圾以及出租屋噪音扰民等的投诉也持续增加。一位老年白人主妇无奈地对我说,如果不是她身体抱病,她肯定也会随大流离开这个小区。

The demographic changes have brought impact to the rest of us who remain in the neighbourhood. As the homes changed hands, homme prices soar, leaving most homeowners to face increased property taxes. Complaints about the random littering, illegal garbage dumping and noises from rooming houses are also on the rise. The senior white homemaker told me that had it not been for her ailing physical conditions, she would have joined the bandwagon to flee from the neighbourhood. 

 
她时常抱怨道:“这个小区是为居家带室的人士设计的,这了房屋不适合群体分租!”

“This is a neighbourhood for families and the homes here were not designed for a group of people to share!” she often grumbled.

 
不管迈克以及其他一些邻居的种族主义观念有多深,我们之间的那些有关教育主题的辩论令我至今都难以忘怀。同时我也怀念炎炎夏日里,小区内孩童们满街嬉闹的美好家庭氛围。

As for me, I missed the education-focused heated debates with Mike and others– regardless how racism they were. I also missed the family atmosphere where children laughed and played on the streets during the hot summer nights.

 
但是我又有什么资格抱怨呢?当初我不就和现在的许多新邻居一样,是因为看中这个社区有名校才选择在这里安家落户么?

But who am I to judge?  Did I choose to settle here simply for the school in the neighbourhood, the same purpose for most of the new neighbours here today?

 
对亚裔们来说,他们总会尽其所能,利用一切可能而去寻求最好的教育机会。而正是这种狂热的名校崇拜情结,让我们来自各地的华裔们聚集于此,选择生活于这个便于教育的小区。

In the end it was this education fervor among us Asians – who want to seize any opportunity to pursue the best education – that has drawn us to this neighbourhood. 
 
 

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