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.
1. Wolfgang Mieder. 2004. Proverbs: A Handbook. Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press.
2. The Edition Committee of China’s Ethnic Literature Collection (the Volume of Guangxi). 2008. A Collection of Chinese Proverbs. Beijing: Chinese ISBN Center.
3. Walter Benjamin. 2002. Selected Writings, Volume 3, 1935–1938. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
4. Zhou Yanxian. 2015. A Collection of Zhuang Proverbs from China. Guangzhou: World Book Publishing Company, China Publishing Group.
5. See note 1.
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