Friday, December 16, 2016

Igbo Proverbs: Trust, Family, Friends

Taking a stab at some Igbo proverbs. Let me know your thoughts!
Proverb: Okuko ekwesigi ichefu onyeforo ya odu na udummiri

Literal Translation: A hen does not forget who pulled their feathers during the rainy season

Context: During a rainy season, chicken/hens often catch colds. In order to get rid of the cold or to prevent future frostbites or hypothermia , we pluck the affected feathers.

Lesson: Never forget the person who helped you when you were down. Always be grateful and be willing to help those who have helped you in the past. When you help someone out, they will always return the favor. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.

Proverb: Oke no na ulo aya gwara oke no na ama na azu no na mkpukuru

Literal Translation: It is the rate in the house that went and told the rate outside that there is fish in the kitchen.

Context: Since there were no (still are not any in some areas) refrigerators, we used special baskets to preserve the fish. The basket would be closed and placed on burning charcoal or wood to stay dry and stay fresh. Often times, the fish brings rats into the kitchen and the rats enter the basket and eat the fish.

Lesson: The only way someone will know what is happening outside is if someone inside is telling them. That is, the only way that someone can enter your house and steal your fish (or anything else) is if someone inside let them in or someone inside told them where the item was located. Thus, be careful who you trust and make sure your house is in order or it will come to bite you.

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