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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Overlooked

 
神崎先生のツイートで常野雄次郎さんがお亡くなりになったのを知りました。ご冥福をお祈りします。TBRを始めたばかりの頃の頼りになるTOEIC講師の方のお一人でした。

それ以後の常野さんの動向についてはついていけなかったというのが正直なところですが、存在しない者とされてしまう人たちに寄り添って主張する勇気に対しては敬意を表します。なかなかできることではありません。

ニューヨークタイムズが3月8日の女性の日に始めたOverlookedというのは、これまで訃報記事が白人男性で占められていたことの反省から生まれた者で、社会に貢献した女性を取り上げようとしてものみたいです。



Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of remarkable women.
By AMISHA PADNANI and JESSICA BENNETT MARCH 8, 2018

Obituary writing is more about life than death: the last word, a testament to a human contribution.

Yet who gets remembered — and how — inherently involves judgment. To look back at the obituary archives can, therefore, be a stark lesson in how society valued various achievements and achievers.

Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female.

Charlotte Brontë wrote “Jane Eyre”; Emily Warren Roebling oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubala transfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now.

先ほどの動画の冒頭で紹介されていたのは昨年から始まったHBOのシリーズのようで元気な老人たちを紹介しているようです。



こういうジョークをくすりと笑えるようになると英語学習のフェーズから抜け出たことになるのでしょう。

"I pick up my newspaper, get the obituary section, and see if I'm listed. If I'm not, I have my breakfast.”

あちこち飛んで恐縮ですが、フランス旅行でもしたいなとガイドブックを読んでいて意外に思ったことです。第一次世界大戦で戦争が激化するにつれて人手が足りなくなり後方支援で働いていた中国人が10万人にもなっていたそうです。イギリス軍の元で働いていたそうですが言葉もわからず大変だったとか。

August 19, 2015Michael Noble

But China? Why should any Chinese people have been tied up in this war? World War it may have been, but I do not recall China being lined up on either side of the Imperial divide? Unlike India, it was not part of the British Empire.

So what is the story? As is well known, between 1914 and 1916 the British army grew rapidly in line with the recruitment policy instigated in August 1914 by Lord Kitchener as soon as he was appointed Secretary of State for War. By the eve of the Battle of the Somme the relatively tiny band of regulars and territorials who had been mobilised in 1914 had been transformed into a fighting force of more than one million men occupying almost 200 km of trenches along the Western Front. As it had grown in size and activities, front-line units had been supported with food, ammunition and war materials, largely as a result of the work of the British labour corps and pioneer battalions or combat troops resting from the trenches. These men also built camps, salvaged weapons and munitions from the battlefields, and carried out repairs to roads, railways and airfields. As such, the vastly inflated army was underpinned in order to maintain its pursuit of trench warfare.

All this changed when the Battle of the Somme commenced on 1 July 1916. The casualty rates were such that with a few months there was a severe labour shortage on the Western Front. Every able-bodied serviceman was needed at the front, and the British were increasingly desperate to find fresh sources of manpower. At home this was largely achieved by the introduction of conscription, but in addition to extra soldiers they also needed labourers. Where we these to be found?

In October 1916 the War Office approached the Chinese government, which was then officially neutral. It came up with a plan which led to the formation of the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC). Public proclamations, often promoted by local missionaries, encouraged Chinese men to join the Corps, which was non-combatant but under British military control and discipline. For poor Chinese peasants, particularly those in the cold northern provinces of Shantung and Chihli, pledging themselves to three years of service in return for pay which was far better than they could hope for at home, seemed like a winner. The first transport of Chinese labourers made its way to Europe via Canada at the beginning of 1917. By the end of 1917 there were 54,000 Chinese labourers attached to the Commonwealth forces in France and Belgium. This figure doubled by November 1918.

これもOverlookedの一例になるかもしれません。何を切り捨てているのか、社会の価値観そのものを問うことは時には大切なことでしょう。
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Yuta

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