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Proverbs known in the Bethlehem area

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 19.03.2006:

1) On science and knowledge

a. They did not see God but knew him through the mind.

b. After getting old he was sent to the village school.

2) On politeness, polish and praiseworthy manners

a. Oh, you who are going away, increase your good deeds.

b. Receive me well and do not give me lunch.

3) On economizing, good management, work and money

a. Stretch your legs according to the length of your mattress.

b. Water in the well is in need of good management.

c. I was a shepherd but through the hard work of my arm I gained success.

4) On human relations, as kinship, neighbourliness and friendship

a. Paradise without people is not to be trodden on.

b. The prophet recommended that even the seventh neighbour should be taken care of.

c. The leg creeps to the place it likes.

5) On human characteristics such as scepticism, contentment and others

a. The quarrel was not because of a pomegranate, but because hearts were full of rancour.

b. Greed separates.

6) On love, affection, marriage and pregnancy

a. Let she who marries the ugly person (monkey) for his wealth remember that the wealth goes away and the ugly person remains as he is.

b. Worrying about daughters continues till death even though they are married.

c. Smear your cheeks from the mud of your country.

7) On advising, guiding and warning

a. Its protector is its thief.

b. Measure before plunging.

c. Tie the donkey wherever his owner tells you.

8) On predestination and judgements

a. The speech of the villages is different from the speech of the palace.

b. What is written on the forehead must be seen by the eye.

9) On food and good health

a. First fruits prolong life.

b. He who has pepper will sprinkle it on lentil soup.

10) Miscellaneous

a. You cannot touch the cooking-pot without being defiled.

b. A pebble supports a big stone.

Source: Adapted from Bethlehem: The Immortal Town.

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