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Two Thousand Zhuang Proverbs from China with Annotations and Chinese and English Translation


Zhou Yanxian

China is home to one of the largest and oldest societies in the world, and presently contains fifty-six ethnic groups. Among them is the Zhuang, the largest of the minority populations, which partakes in a very long history of preliterate oral traditions. This volume presents an introduction to Zhuang language and culture in Zhuang proverbs. The two thousand proverbs explored in this text bear the weight of Zhuang history and culture, and embody the wisdom collected from publications, manuscripts, and the speeches of the people who live in Zhuang villages. These proverbs are grouped into nine sections: Truths; Morality; Family; Everyday Life; Social Life; Labor; Nature; Customs; and Politics. Together, they form an essential distillation of the Zhuang history, tradition, philosophy, and most importantly, its legacy. This accessible introduction – which includes translations in Zhuang Pinyin letters, Mandarin, and American English for each proverb – provides an important corpus for the study of the Zhuang ethnic group by scholars, students, and others who are interested in Zhuang language, culture, folklore and oral traditions, and proverbs.

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Chapter 2. Coih Ndang 修养 Morality


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486. Aen bak ndeu mbouj gangj song yiengh vah. 一张嘴不说两样话。 One mouth does not speak words of a double-dealer.1

487. Aen naj swhgeij swhgeij swiq cij seuq. 自己洗自己的脸才干净。 One who washes his own face can make it clean.2

488. Aen ranz mbouj hung youq ndaej vunz, dungz saej hunggvangq cang ndaej vunz. 房子不大住得人,肚量宽大容得人。 A small house can hold people, a big-hearted man can tolerate others.

489. Aenhoz caiq raez hix sang mbouj gvaq gyaeuj. 颈脖再长也不比头高。 Even the longest neck is not as tall as the head.

490. Aeu roq laz doiqnaj, mbouj daj gyong baihlaeng. 要打当面锣,不敲背后鼓。 Strike the gong in one’s face, do not beat the drum behind him.3 ← 47 | 48 →

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