Every time I set down near my grand mother, talk to her and listen from her, I wonder the number of popular or traditional proverbs that she uses while discussing any topic. I always try to ask her to give me “extensive” explanations about the meanings that I can’t see behind those words. And of course she always helps me and surprises me with deep cultural traditional explanations for the proverbs she uses. Using proverbs is very common here in Morocco. It reflects the Moroccan culture, character and society. And shows the way people feel, think and what they want to say.
Many people here in Morocco use the popular proverbs as a way of giving advice, and show what the best thing to do is. For example, when someone says to another one “Either do as your neighbours do, or move away”. With this proverb it is clear that this person is advising the other to try as much as he can, not to disagree or oppose what the majority agree about. And even if he has a different point of view; he couldn’t dictate it on theme because they’ll not accept that. But what he can do is to leave those people and find others who share the same point of view or do the same thing that he does.
In this context we can mention another Moroccan proverb that says “close you doors is better than you accuse you neighbours”. Which means that it’s better for you to take your precautions and insure your property, than to neglect it and lose it, and then you start accusing everyone that he steals it, and as a result of that you’ll not benefit anything, and you’ll lose both your property and your social relationships? So, giving advice by using proverbs could be very useful, influential and beautiful in the same time.
Popular proverbs can be used also in general contexts, as a way of saying wise expressions that the listener can conclude its beautiful meaning, that always makes you try to do everything that is good, and that gives you a different view about life and its symbolism. And here we can represent a beautiful proverb about friendship that says “A stone from the hand of a friend is an apple”. From this proverb we can conclude the beauty of the relationship between friends. It’s the real, the pure friendship that makes you forget anything, any mistake that comes from your friend, for nothing but your friendship.
And make you consider and understand that everyone may fall in the mistake. However, it’s so rare that we can find a kind of friendship as this proverb talks about. In this context we have another beautiful proverb that says “The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love”. This proverb may express the platonic love, which is love for the sake of love, where the lovers even of the problems they face, and that may lead them to quarrel, they keep their love away of these problems. And try to make this love strong more and more while facing these matters.
There is another kind of proverbs that motivate people, make theme work hard and try to improve their personality and life. And as an example of that, there is the famous proverb here in Morocco that says “education in youth is like engraving on rock”. This proverb encourage people to teach and educate their children while they are youth, because of ability that children have of learning more quickly and effectively than others who are more aged. So this proverb may convince a lot of people –especially in the Moroccan villages- who don’t believe in teaching children to educate them.
With this meaning there is another Moroccan proverb that says “little by little, the camel goes into the couscous”. Which means that everything that is difficult or seems to be impossible to take place in reality needs only some patience from you. And that is little by little, or step by step it can be realized. What to say finally is that, using proverbs is a social and cultural behaviour that everyone uses in his daily life. And that show how deep and great is the culture of any country… and its people’s perspective and behaves.
Courtney from Study Moose
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