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Proverbs on science, knowledge and economics

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 30.01.2007:

Proverbs are one of the most important branches of popular literature as they relate to all aspects of life. A proverb supporting this view says, “Proverbs did not leave anything unsaid.” They speak of particular situations and certain human experiences, as if they in themselves were an unwritten social code.

Proverbs are more than a simple reflection of the local culture, as one of their aims is to influence people’s behavior. Quoting a relevant proverb may be the final word in an argument, as the proverb’s intent is to convey wisdom. It is terse form of expression, as well. Undoubtedly, the influence exerted by proverbs is partly due to their form. Most proverbs are characterized by their brevity, their strong meaning and beautiful form of expressions. The ring and rhyme which accompany many make them easier to memorize and to transmit orally.

On science and knowledge

– Science in youth is like inscription on stone.

– I shall become a slave to him who has taught me a letter.

– They did not see God but knew Him through the mind.

– Learn witchcraft but do not practice it.

– Knowing something is better than being ignorant of it.

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

– The best friend in the world is a book.

On economizing, good management, work and money

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

– Cut your coat according to your cloth, (lit.)

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

– Save your white piaster for your black day.

– From his fat fry for him.

– Laziness does not feed one with honey.

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

– Seek your livelihood where there is strong competition.

– Agreement brings sustenance.

– We eat from what they planted, and they eat from what we plant.

– The plants belong to the planters and the land belongs to its owners.

– Wealth brings forth (lit.) wealth while lice bring forth nits.

– The shoemaker is barefoot and the weaver is naked.

– Gold needs bran.

– A company ends up in disintegration.

Source:”Bethlehem, The Immortal Town” by Giries Elali.

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