image: traditional Tujia brocade

Play All)Conversations: Daily Life in Tasha Rural Township

These two texts paint starkly contrastive pictures of daily life. At first glance it might seem as though women do all the work, but this is not really the case. Educating children costs money, so typically the men go into the big cities to work in factories or on building sites while their wives manage the family farm on their own. Once their children have left home, life becomes a little more relaxed. Older folk often just look after the livestock while younger family members farm the land.


3.3.1: Village Life
3.3.2: Retirement

3.3.1: Village Life

Zhang Fenglian & Liu Zhenying, Tasha Rural Township, Longshan County
recorded on 21 July 2002

01 A: bi2zi1sa3 li3 me li3, mu2la1 pa1 sa3li3-di2-ta1tiu1. ang, bai1die1 wan3qian3 bi2zi1sa3, ang2 cu1 me, wan3qian3 bi2zi1sa3, qian3bu1, bai1die1 wo4ta3 hhi2 be2 wan3qian3 bi2zi1sa3 ang.
A: Speak Tujia, don't speak any Chinese now. The children are completely Tujia-speaking, we all speak Tujia at home, all of us, the children always speak Tujia outside the home.
02 ang qi3ta1di1 me qie4 tai2 me, qie4 li3 yo? ang, lao4reng3ga3-die1 wan3qian3 tu1jia1zu3, mu2la1 nian3qing1reng3-die1 ang2 yi2 pao1 qian3bu1 si1 bi2zi1ka3, ang.
Other things, there's nothing to add, what should I say? The old people are all Tujia, nowadays our young people, we are all Tujia.
03 nian3zu3, qing3mo1 bai1die1 ga4 la1hu3 da4 zeng1di1hua1, ku4-di you1 mai2-di eng, bai1die1 ga4 la1hu3 da4 zeng1di1hua1 lao1huo4 me, tuo1 eng, bai1die1 ye4-bo3 mo3 zeng1di1hua1 ku4 lie3 ku4.
The New Year pig... All these children together, truly, we could have opened a shop to sell our unhappy times, we had so many. Having all these children was really tiring, raising them, raising the children really was hard.
04 mu2la1 me you2 kuai2, gai1huan3-le, kuai2huo1-liao3 me be2 kuai2huo1-da2, kuai2huo1-liao3. ai1, ni2 ai1 mu2la1 me, you2 ya2-hao1-liao3. ai1di1 si3jie3 die3, guo2 ku4 mo3, ku4 mo3 guo2 yao1gang1 duo3 tuo3-liao3, guo2duo3...
Now it's better, liberation, things are better, and sometimes not, happier. Things are better for you nowadays. Those days, your husband worked so hard that his back became bent, he himself...
05 B: mu2la1 me, bai1die1 yi2si1 qi1si2-ji2-liao3, ni2 ceng3long3be2 da4 ai1di1 (null)-di1xi3... ni2 ang2 da4ze3-da2, ang2 da4ze3 meng bai1die1 yi2si1 bi2kui1-bo3-la1-nie2.
B: Now the children are all grown up, you and Cheng Longbe together can... you are not like us, we have children who are still small.
06 nian3qing1 be2 hong3huan4 hang2nie3, be2 gai4-lang2 ge2-bo3-da2 la, nga2 ni2 qi1ma1 si3 lai1 nian3, si3 lai1 nian3 ci4.
It's always like this when they are young. Our ages are not that different, You are at least ten years older than I am, ten or so years.
07 A: ai1 si3, si3 yi2 nian3 ci4-nie3, nga2 long3bai3 qi2 si3 sui2-liao3 wa. se2 me, sang1 si2. B: nga2 me, si2 si3 lu2 qi2-liao3. A: jiu1 jian1 luo, se2 da4ze3 me hai3 zai2 qing3nie2.
A: Ten, eleven years older, I'm seventy this year. You, you are in your thirties or forties. B: I'm forty-six or seven. A: There you are,
08 B: ye1 hang2nie3 la. ai1di1 you2 hang2nie3, suo4ti3 be2 hang2nie3, ye3 ri1 be2 ya2 lao1huo4, hong3huan4 gai2 da4ze3, ni2 guo2duo3 ku4 me ri1-ta1 you2 bang2hua1 tai2.
your time is still to come. B: Indeed it is, that's the way it is. Your health is the same, you work and you tire more easily.
09 A: ai1 huan2 ri1-duo3, zi4 la long4 a, zi4 ga4 long3 long4 me, ye3 ri1 me ni2 be2 ge4 bo3 la2 long1 hui3liao2 le, be2 tong3qian3...
It's always like this, you work hard, but you have no choice. A: You have to keep on working: raise some pigs, raise a few pigs, work in the fields, you give them fertiliser for a year, you need money...
10 B: jiu1 huo2nie3 bu2si1, ni2 cu1 gao1 be2 suan2 bu2 long1 zang2, ni2 qie4 gao1 duo3 be2 lao1huo4, you2 ye3 ri1, qie4 gao1 duo3 be2 hang2nie3.
B: It's like that, isn't it; you can't make ends meet, whatever you do leaves you tired, you work some more, whatever you do is like this.
11 A: you2 bai1die1 mu2la1 ci1ci1 tu1-nie3 si3jie3 me, zi4 lao4 nie1 long3 long4 a, ge4ze1 lao4 cong1 heng, jiu1 huo2nie3, be2 tong3qian3 dian2 xie2, ci1ci1 la1 pang3.
A: Now my child is at school, when they're at school, I keep two pigs, enough for school fees. In this way, I can have some money to send them to school.
12 B: gai2 gao1-ta1 me kei3-lie1 huo3-di2 o? ni2 ye3ri1ma1 tou3seng1-bo3 bang2hua1 tai2, gao1-ta1 me, hang2nie3.
B: If you don't do this, where would you get [money] from? If farming is your lot, that's the only way to get it.
13 A: ye3ri1ma1 me, huan2 zang4jing3, huan2 guo2duo3 ji2hua1 la2 di4 o.
A: Farmers, they're getting ahead, but they must have their own plans.
14 B: eng, gao1-ta1 me bu2xing3, ni2 gao1-ta1 me tai2, hang2nie3 dian2 duo3 tai2, hang2la3, ang ni2 gao1-ce1 me, be2 dian2 xie2 ang, hang2la3 ang...
B: If you don't, it won't do; if you don't, then you can't [earn money], you won't have anything. If you do something, then you'll get a bit, it's like that...
15 A: ni2 guo2duo3 luo4 la2 zi2-bo3, lao3dong2li3 me huan2 dian2 xie2. B: si3tie2 ngang2-da2-nie2, me2ze3 kei3-lie1 huo3-di2 o? qie4 duo3 tai2 la, ai1 si3jie3 da4ze3, cu1 gao1. A: ni2 ai1di1 ri1 heng4-ma1 jia1cu1 me you2 tai2 luo.
A: You're also an able-bodied individual, you do have the ability to work. B: There's no water in the paddy fields, where are you going to get rain from? There's nothing worth selling, so we stayed at home, just like in the past. A: You don't have any fit young relatives who can help you.

3.3.2: Retirement

Peng Shikuan & Wang Huanming, Tasha Rural Township, Longshan County
recorded on 21 July 2002

01 A: nga2 le zao4gu1die1 le, ei1di1 da2kai1 ba2 dian1zong1 yi1qian3 zu2-diu2, zu2-le yi1hou2 le ce3 lian1 tong1 di1di1, ce3 di1di1 yi1hou2 le, ai1lie1 jiu1 xie1pong1 la2 dong2 wo1
A: In the morning, I usually get up before eight o'clock. After getting up, I fetch two buckets of water. After getting the water, I wash the cooking-pot.
02 xie1pong1 wo1-le yi1hou2 le, zi3hhe3 wo1-lie3 jiu1 ai1 mei3lu3zi3 ga3-lie1 jiu1 mang1mang1 la1 bang2, ge3la1bi1 bang2 le eng1ge1la1bi3 ha1ce1 you2 dian2 la2 dong2 zun1bei3, ai1lie1 tuo3tuo3 [huo3lie3] guo2 cai3mo1 la2 dong2 suo4,
When I've washed the pot, I wash some rice and cook it on top of the coal burner. While the rice is cooking, I prepare a few vegetables and slice them up neatly with a chopper.
03 suo4-lie3 yi1hou2 eng, ai1lie1 nga2 jiu1 zao4huan3 la2 hu3-lang2 ga2-la1-hu3. re2 huan2 di1di1-bo3 hu3-la1, nga2 huan2 da2kai1 ong1 wo3 ze2 hai3si2 hu3-duo3.
After slicing them, I start eating my breakfast, on my own. I'm always bringing wine back to drink, five or six mouthfuls with every meal, I still need my wine.
04 nga2 ri1-xi2 mang, wo3 ze2, wo3 ze2 ri1-la1-nie2 a, ti1zi1 hai3si2 hao1qian2 gao1-di1xi3-nie2. ai, lai4 sa3 tai2, zao4huan3 ga2-ji2-lie3 jiu1 qie3bi2 la1 wo1.
My habit, six mouthfuls, I'm still used to six mouthfuls, my body is still able to take that much. And if I've nothing to do that day, I wash up after finishing breakfast.
05 wu2 jie4-lie3, ai1lie1 nga2duo3 you2 eng1ge1 ge4 da4ha3 pai3 ji1 pai3 ha3, pai3 ha3-lie3 yi1hou2 le you2 eng, ai1lie1 you2 ye2huan1 bang2-bo3 ga2.
I take the cow out, and then I go round to their place to play a few rounds of cards. After playing cards, I cook my evening meal and eat it.
06 ye2huan1 bang2-bo3 ga2-lie3 me you2 dian2si2 ga4 dong2 ba4, ba4-lie3 da2kai1 si3 lai1 dian1zong1, nga2 xi3guan2-liao3.
After the evening meal, I watch a bit of television, watching until about ten o'clock, that's my usual habit.
07 ei! xiao1ye1-duo3-nie2, you2 ye3 la2 mong2 ga2-nie2; re2 suo1 ze2 zai2 hu3-lie3; ai1lie1 jiu1 nie2-bo3-hu3. you! ngo1 yi2 tian1-di seng1huo3 jiu1 ze2guo1 xi3guan2, jian1-wan3liao1 o!
Oh! I also have a midnight snack, I still need another meal, drinking about three mouthfuls of wine, and then I go to bed. So, my daily life follows this pattern, that's all!
08 B: ngo1 hao1qian2 mei3you1 seng1mo3 jian1-di. A: ri1 la! B: nga2 hao1qian2 he2ba3 la li3-ci3 tai2 me, qie4 duo3 jing1 li3-lie3 li3-ci3la1 tai2.
B: I don't really have anything to say. A: Go on! B: I don't have anything worth saying, you've said it all, there's nothing more to say.
09 la2 nie1 hi4lie3 ga2-lie3 me jiu1 ri1, ri1-lie3 me ga2, ai1lie1 me qi3ta1di1 qie4 li3 yo? gai3di1 qie4 yi2si3 la1 tai2, li3-ci3la1 tai2 ya!
Every day I eat and I work, work and eat, what else is there to say? This really isn't very interesting, there's nothing to say.
10 A: ni2 re2 hu3-ti2. B: nga2 re2 hu3-ti2, nga2 re2 hu3-da2. la2 nie1 hi4lie3 qie4, he2ba3 li3-ci3 tai2, mei2die3 hao1duo1 jian1-di!
A: You can't drink. B: I can't drink, I don't drink. Every day is the same, there's nothing to say, I don't have much to say!
11 A: na2 wo1 jiu1 mei3you1 jian1-di la!
A: I don't have anything to say either!






Copyright (C) 2004 Philip & Cecilia Brassett