Hutong Culture and the Change of Siheyuan 胡同文化與四合院的變遷


The word Hutong originated from Mongolian language meaning “Well”. In ancient times, people tended to gather and live around wells. So the original meaning of Hutong should be “a place where people gather and live”.
And another explanation says that during the Yuan Dynasty, about 13th century, residential areas in the city were divided into many divisions. Between the smaller divisions were passageways for people the travel through. And those passageways also functioned as isolation belts against fire risks. In Mongolian language. Passageways of this kind were called Hutong.
Today you can find various Hutongs with different sharps, length or directions. The shortest one is only 10 meters long, and some Hutongs have more than 20 turns.
When you through the Hutongs, you may find most of them look almost the same with gray-colored walls and bricks. Actually inside those walls are the courtyard houses, where people live. In Chieses we call them “siheyuan”. “Si” literally means four, “he” means to surround, and “yuan” refers to the courtyard. So a rectangular wall enclosing four houses, one built on each side facing into the center, is called a Siheyuan. When they were first built, usually one Siheyuan was owned by only one family, but nowadays, with the growth of population, most Siheyuan were shared by 4 to 10 families.

「胡同」這個詞來源於蒙古,意思是「井」。古時候人們生活和聚集在井的周圍,所以「胡同」一詞的本意應該是「人們生活聚集的地方」。
另外一個解釋是,在元朝時(西元13世紀),居民區被分割成幾個區域,區域間設過道以便於居民來往。這些過道的另一個作用就是隔離防火。在蒙古語中,這種過道稱作胡同。
今天你可以發現不同形狀、長度和方向的胡同。最短的胡同只有10米長,有些胡同有20多個彎。
當你進入胡同時,你也許會發現幾乎所有的牆和磚都是灰色的。在這些牆的後面就是居民的家,我們稱其為「四合院」,「四」表示數字四,「合」是圍繞的意思,「院」是庭院的意思。
也就是一個長方形的圍牆圍著四間屋子,每間屋子的門朝著院子中間。過去,一個四合院只屬於一個家庭,而現在隨著人口的增長,大多數四合院住著四到十戶人家。

hú tóng wén huà yǔ sì hé yuàn de biàn qiān

「hú tóng 」zhè gè cí lái yuán yú méng gǔ ,yì sī shì 「jǐng 」。gǔ shí hòu rén men shēng huó hé jù jí zài jǐng de zhōu wéi ,suǒ yǐ 「hú tóng 」yī cí de běn yì yīng gāi shì 「rén men shēng huó jù jí de dì fāng 」。
lìng wài yī gè jiě shì shì ,zài yuán cháo shí (gōng yuán 13shì jì ),jū mín qū bèi fèn gē chéng jǐ gè qū yù ,qū yù jiān shè guòguò dào yǐ biàn yú jū mín lái wǎng 。zhè xiē guò dào de lìng yī gè zuò yòng jiù shì gé lí fáng huǒ 。zài méng gǔ yǔ zhōng ,zhè zhǒng zuò dào chēng zuò hú tóng 。
jīn tiān nǐ kě yǐ fā xiàn bù tón g xíng zhuàng 、cháng dù hé fāng xiàng de hú tóng 。zuì duǎn de hú tóng zhǐ yǒu 10mǐ cháng ,yǒu xiē hú tóng yǒu 20duō gè wān 。
dāng nǐ jìn rù hú tóng shí ,nǐ yě xǔ huì fā xiàn jǐ hū suǒ yǒu de qiáng hé zhuān dōu shì huī sè de 。zài zhè xiē qiáng de hòu miàn jiù shì jū mín de jiā ,wǒ men chēng qí wéi 「sì hé yuàn 」,「sì 」biǎo shì shù zì sì ,「hé 」shì wéi rào de yì sī ,「yuàn 」shì tíng yuàn de yì sī 。
yě jiù shì yī gè cháng fāng xíng de wéi qiáng wéi zhe sì jiān wū zǐ ,měi jiān wū zǐ de mén cháo zhe yuàn zǐ zhōng jiān 。guò qù ,yī gè sì hé yuàn zhī shǔ yú yī gè jiā tíng ,ér xiàn zài suí zhe rén kǒu de zēng zhǎng ,dà duō shù sì hé yuàn zhù zhe sì dào shí hù rén jiā 。


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