上海滩的父女情

邓永锵:女儿的安全网(图;cobalt123,取自Flickr)

今天的《星期天泰晤士报》(The Sunday Times),有一篇关于香港企业家David Tang和他女儿Victoria的专访。

David Tang何许人也?就是著名中国时尚名牌上海滩(Shanghai Tang)的老板邓永锵。

我出身贫寒,自幼对名人的家庭,特别感兴趣。我曾翻译过彭定康和他女儿的专访 (彭定康的眼泪)。邓先生和女儿维多利亚的专访,当然不容错过。

邓先生的父女情,又是如何呢?

邓先生言谈风趣。比方说,最后一段,他说:“我鼓励女儿嫁给大富豪,让我老了也有张安全网。”

他说:有一次,我们和某个亿万富翁的儿子碰面。

我问她:“为什么不和他走在一块?”女儿说:“爸,他又胖又丑!”

我回答:“这又有什么关系呢?”

邓先生的自述很长,我选了有趣的十点,列举如下:

上海滩的David Tang 和女儿(图:The Sunday Times )

1)别人常说我没把足够的时间花在儿女身上。但是,我觉得,和他们共处的时间不同等于我爱他们的深浅。我的前妻和现任妻子都认为我在说废话,但是她们都错了。和子女相处,对女人而言很重要,对男人则不重要。

2) 中国人如果不会说中文,是很怪的事。所以,我让孩子在香港长大。他们常到英国来,所以能说中英文。

3)让小孩自幼多接触各种文化,是很重要的。因此,我的孩子在英国完成教育前,我也让他们在东京生活了两年 (和我的前妻和她的丈夫在一起)。

4)与孩子相处,我是充满哲理的。我觉得我们必须掌握知识(knowledge),而不是信息(information)。这两者人们经常混淆。

5)我告诉孩子,通过阅读,他们才能扩张视野。

上海滩:邓永锵自述原文

6)我告诉孩子,如果你要请别人到家里来吃饭,记得要请那些比你聪明一点的,他们或许可以教你一些新的东西。

7)我不和孩子说大道理。我通常用幽默的方式和他们沟通。我们经常开玩笑。

8)父母应该以行动来激发孩子,让他们充满理想,教导他们风险和失败的意义。如果我没理想,他们又岂会听我的呢?

9)我女儿的兴趣是摄影和图像设计。我让她随心发展。她所选择的路不是平稳的,所幸我是她的一张安全网,可以让她投靠。

10)我对未来女婿的要求是:他必须比我有钱。当然,这算是半个笑话吧。(That’s only a half joke.)

下一篇,我要翻译邓先生的女儿Victoria(维多利亚)的看法。

原文如下:

David, 56, entrepreneur

I’m always accused of not spending enough time with my children. However, I don’t believe that the time spent with them equates to how much I love them. Both my present wife and my ex-wife think that’s rubbish, but they’re wrong. The physical presence is important for women, while for men it is not.

Victoria is my first child and I feel lucky. I always wanted to have a girl, even though the common desire among Chinese people is to have a son. Primogeniture doesn’t apply to me as I am not an emperor. Fathers always love daughters more: they are more vulnerable. It doesn’t matter how old a daughter is, a father feels protective.

The awful thing is, I wasn’t present when Victoria was born, at St Mary’s, Paddington. For nine months I had said to her mother [Susanna Cheung, a former TV actress]: “Of course I’ll be there.” Then, two weeks before Victoria was due, I got a new job, working for an oil company, and was sent to Ireland. I calculated it so I’d be back in time, but Victoria arrived a day earlier.

We doted on Victoria. I made a big fuss about going everywhere with my little baby daughter. I took her to weddings and to dinner parties. I even learnt how to change her nappy. That was how passionate I was. But after a month or two the novelty wore off and I left her with her mother. Victoria will say that I was never involved in the school run, but I do remember picking her up on a few occasions.

I was very pleased when Edward came along 18 months later. Having two puppies meant they could look after each other.

I find it absurd when Chinese children can’t speak Chinese, so it was imperative they grew up in Hong Kong. We spoke Chinese at home and I sent my children to a Chinese school. They came to England regularly and became bilingual. When you are young it is so important to be exposed to as many cultures as possible. This is why I also sent them to live in Tokyo for two years before they finished their education in Britain.

I do encourage Victoria to marry someone incredibly rich, so that it provides a safety net for me too

They lived there with their mother, whose new husband was posted there for work. We’d divorced in 1994. I don’t believe in acrimony; it’s boring, and it wastes so much time. I’ve been extremely lucky to have a very understanding second wife, who gets on with my children beautifully, and with my ex-wife.

At risk of sounding like an old fool spouting pearls of wisdom, I’m philosophical when I’m with my children. The most important thing to have is knowledge as opposed to information. Those two are often confused. I tell them that it is only through reading that they can expand their own horizon. It is the same in social situations: if you’re going to have people round for dinner, ensure they’re more intelligent than you so they can teach you a thing or two.

I don’t sit them down and deliver a lecture: I use humour to make my points. I joke with them all the time. My son is particularly sarcastic. Victoria is much more disciplined. I loaded her with all the serious stuff and slightly forgot the humour.

Nobody ever gave me any speeches when I was growing up. My parents couldn’t tell you who Plato was. I wanted to give my children what I didn’t have. It’s so important for parents to stimulate children through action: it instils aspiration and teaches them the meaning of risk and failure. Why would they listen to me unless I showed some ambition myself?

In spite of this — and perhaps it’s not a very modern idea — I can’t get out of my mind the fact that Victoria is not going to be a career woman: she’ll settle down and look after the husband. I wouldn’t have thought that was necessarily a bad thing, and I’m not suggesting she shouldn’t go out to work. She’s got very set ideas. Inevitably, there’s a bit of DNA there, and it is a secret source of pride that my daughter is interested in photography and graphic design. She has an artistic sense, which is what I love having —she goes through life with a sense of the visual. I deliberately let her go with the flow, and it is so important that I do, as so many young people today say: “I don’t know what I want to do.” Victoria always knew.

The path she has chosen is not steady, but I’m just incredibly fortunate to be her safety net, so that there isn’t a worry she might go on the dole. I did a law degree and set out on a firm path, only because I didn’t have a safety net. There was nobody saying to me: “If things go wrong you will still be fed.”

I do encourage her to marry someone incredibly rich, so that it provides a safety net for me too. We met a billionaire’s son once, and I said: “Why not go for him?” She said: “Daddy, he’s so fat and ugly.” My response was: “What’s that got to do with it?” Of course true love counts for something, but I have one qualification for my future son-in-law: he has to be richer than me. That’s only a half-joke.

彭定康的眼泪

Published by

Janet Williams 張玉雲

I am Janet Williams, an academic living in the southeast of England. I blog about culture, history, languages and my community. I created Chandler's Ford Today. During my spare time, I make Origami. Thank you for stopping by.

4 thoughts on “上海滩的父女情”

  1. The Sunday Times 现在要收费了,网上读不到。你如果点击照片,放大,应该还可以看清楚。

    我的是傻瓜相机,快死了,只能将就将就。

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s