Silver Bay-CCYC of the East

04 October 2019
Group in Front of Silver Bay Sign, Courtesy of Paul Louie, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection
在银湾牌子前的合影,Paul Louie捐赠,美国华人博物馆(MOCA)馆藏

By 1940, nearly 40,000 American-born Chinese were living in the U.S., grappling with uniquely bicultural issues regarding identity, family, career, and heritage. Originating in Lake Tahoe in 1933, the Chinese Christian Youth Conference (CCYC) was an unprecedented resource for Chinese American youth (from high school to post-college age) to grow as a new American community. “For youth, of youth, by youth,” the conference was organized entirely by youth cabinet members, offering the opportunity to explore Christianity without imposing religious doctrine in any way.

For one week, young men and women of faith or without participated in mentor-led discussions and enjoyed summer-camp activities like talent shows and formal dances. In 1943, the director of the China Institute in New York, Dr. ChihMeng, proposed that a conference be extended east due to the success of the Tahoe conferences. After initial worries and hurdles including parental disapproval, time constraints, and the geographic separation of East Coast communities, the first CCYC of the East retreat took place at Silver Bay in New York in 1944, becoming the largest East Coast gathering of a Chinese American-organized youth group. In the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of Silver Bay, barriers of subgroups fell away, forging a new sense of Chinese American consciousness in a traditionally splintered region. In the words of conference attendee Shelley Mark, “Silver Bay has served to pry open the lid from the box of traditional isolation....It has brought together young men and women endowed with the same rich heritage and conscious of the same common goals.”

到1940年,近四万名在美国出生的华人居住在美国,努力解决有关身份、家庭、职业和传承等独特的双重文化问题。中国基督教青年会议(Chinese Christian Youth Conference),简称CCYC,于1933年在太浩湖成立,作为一个新型美国社区,CCYC是帮助华裔美国青年(从高中到大学毕业年龄段)成长的一个前所未有的资源。他们的口号是“为了青年人,属于青年人,发自青年人(For youth, of youth, by youth)”,该会议完全由青年内阁成员组织,提供了探索基督教的机会,但不以任何方式强加宗教教义。

在为期一周的时间里,有信仰或没有信仰的青年男女参加由导师带领的讨论,享受才艺表演和正式舞会等夏令营活动。1943年,纽约华美协进社(China Institute)的社长孟治博士(Dr. ChihMeng)提出,由于太浩湖(Tahoe)大会的成功,大会将向东扩展。经过最初的担忧和障碍,包括父母的反对、时间的限制以及东海岸社区的地理距离,1944年,CCYC的第一个东部活动在纽约的银湾(Silver Bay)举行,成为一个华裔美国青年团体在东海岸举办的规模最大的集会。在银湾的轻松友好的氛围中,小群体之间的隔阂消失了,在这个传统上分散的区域形成了一种新的华裔美国人意识。用与会者Shelley Mark的话来说,“银湾的作用是打破了传统隔离的框框……它把具有同样丰富文化传承并意识到共同一致目标的青年男女聚集在一起。”

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