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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 8. Mbanj Ranz 乡土 Customs


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2058. Au’nax daengz bak dou, sien yienh it vanj laeuj. 舅父到门口,先递一碗酒。 When the mother’s brother arrives, offer him a bowl of wine.1

2059. Baez van baez ut, it yangh it sug. 一弯一曲,一乡一俗。 Each river bend has a turning, each village has its customs.

2060. Bak gim cawx ranz, cien gim cawx nden. 百金买屋,千金买邻。 Pay a hundred yuan for a house, and a thousand for a neighbor.2

2061. Bae le hozsiengh louz roengz miuh, gag rox miz vunz daeuj cang yieng. 去了和尚留下庙,自会有人来烧香。 The monk leaves but the temple remains, people will come to burn incense.

2062. Bit laux lau caetnyied cibseiq, gaeqyiem lau ndwencieng co’ngeih. 老鸭怕七月十四,阉鸡怕正月初二。 An old duck fears July 14, a rooster fears January 2.3 ← 209 | 210 →

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