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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 7. Gwnzbiengz 自然 Nature


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1940. Ban’haet fwj hoengz fwn mbouj dingz, banhaemh fwj hoengz mbwn rox rongh. 早上红云雨不停,晚上红云会天晴。 The morning red clouds promise a nonstop rain, the evening red clouds a sunny day.1

1941. Ban’haet meuz swiq naj, mbwn rongh ndei cae naz. 早上猫洗脸,天晴好犁田。 If a cat washes its face in the morning, it will be a sunny day to plow.

1942. Ban haet mok baenz benq, mbwn rengx ndei dak haeux. 早上一片雾,晴天好晒谷。 The thick morning fog indicates a sunny day for sun-drying rice.

1943. Begloh fwn,hanzloh rumz, cib naed haeuxgok gouj naed byouq. 白露雨,寒露风,十颗谷子九颗空。 If it is rainy in Beilu or windy in Hanlu, nine grains out of ten will be empty.2

1944. Bet nyied cib haj, cienq naj coh feiz. 八月十五,转脸向火堂。 When August the fifteenth comes, people turn to the stove.3 ← 197 | 198 →

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