Friday, January 22, 2010

Haitian proverbs:

Haiti is a non-literate culture. 80% or more of the people neither read nor write. Consequently, wisdom is oral. There are no detailed philosophical systems in Haiti. People hand down their knowledge and express it in proverbs. In the rural areas hardly 5 or 6 sentences can pass in any serious conversation without someone throwing in a proverb as defense of some idea. There are hundreds of proverbs. One very famous one is:

Piti, piti, wazo fe nich li.
Little by little the bird builds its nest

Bondye Bon
God is good.
(This is a proverb of optimism and fatalism. Whatever happens is what God does, and what God does is for the best. There is another similar proverb that translates as: The pencil of God has no eraser).

Dye mon, gen mon
Beyond the mountain is another mountain (A proverb of both patience and the recognition of how difficult life in Haiti is.)

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