Quote of the Day: Khmer Proverbs and Adages III

 

The first two parts can be found here and here.

Wisdom rides your own neck.

It takes a spider to mend its own web.

Incapable of being a blacksmith, you blame the metal.

Might may lie with the Gods, but wit lies with men.

Knowledge is your nourishment; wits are your weapons.

The gourd sinks, broken pieces float.

Seeing a tiger sleep, you assume the tiger is dead; seeing a tiger crouch, you assume the tiger is kowtowing.

If you want peace, you must prepare for war.

Your speech denotes your personality, your manners denote your family.

If the culture dies, so does the nation; if the culture is brilliant, the nation is excellent.

Just like the sun that never stays in the east, power, reputation and wealth come and go.

A man with no girlfriend is like a stage without lights; a woman with no husband is like a night without the moon.

Court a widow via her children.

If you want something, offer payment; if you want to be knowledgeable, study; if you want enlightenment, be virtuous; if you want a life of ease, overcome your difficulties.

“Easy in” said the lobster in the lobster tank, “but not easy out.”

Seize the chance when one arrives because it never comes twice.

The immature rice stalk stands erect, while the mature stalk, heavy with grains, bends over.

Do not throw away the meat and keep the bone.

Prevention is better than a cure.

Plant rice when the soil is ready; persuade a woman when you feel passion.

Do not bring anger into your home.

Tell me a thousand times, and I still wouldn’t understand; show me just once, and I would know for the rest of my life.

Sit in a basket and lift yourself up.

To be as sharp as a spike you must diligently file away at the metal bar.

Do not lie waiting for good luck, nor rely solely on fate; you must work hard and learn the skills.

If you love your body, be mindful of your food; if you love your husband, be mindful of your feelings.

If you are doing wrong, make sure you don’t get fat from it.

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  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    These are great.

    I’m curious, do you recall these from your own head, or are you using a reference to help bring them to mind?

    Thanks for sharing them.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    LC: If you want peace, you must prepare for war.

    The Romans had that one too: si vis pacem, para bellum.

    • #2
  3. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Percival (View Comment):

    LC: If you want peace, you must prepare for war.

    The Romans had that one too: si vis pacem, para bellum.

    An apparent corollary was the previous one, where tiger = another country:

    LC: Seeing a tiger sleep, you assume the tiger is dead; seeing a tiger crouch, you assume the tiger is kowtowing.


    This entry is part of our Quote of the Day series. We have 7 openings on the  September Schedule for your wisdom. We’ve even include tips for finding great quotes. It’s the easiest way to start a Ricochet conversation, so why not sign up today?

    • #3
  4. Major Major Major Major Member
    Major Major Major Major
    @OldDanRhody

    LC: Seeing a tiger sleep, you assume the tiger is dead; seeing a tiger crouch, you assume the tiger is kowtowing.

    I don’t really know why, but I find this one hilarious.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    LC: If you are doing wrong, make sure you don’t get fat from it.

    Oops!

    • #5
  6. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    These are great.

    I’m curious, do you recall these from your own head, or are you using a reference to help bring them to mind?

    Thanks for sharing them.

    Both. There are a ton of them. I wouldn’t be able to remember them all.

    I’ll be able to do many more in this series.

    • #6
  7. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Arahant (View Comment):

    LC: If you are doing wrong, make sure you don’t get fat from it.

    Oops!

    That’s my favorite from this list. 

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    LC (View Comment):
    That’s my favorite from this list. 

    Saving the best for last.

    • #8
  9. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    LC, these are treasures!  It’s hard to find a favorite, but I definitely endorse your choice. :-). Thanks, as always!

    • #9
  10. Bethany Mandel Editor
    Bethany Mandel
    @bethanymandel

    I love these. Do you have any books of poems or adages like this that you could recommend? 

    • #10
  11. She Member
    She
    @She

    What I notice about these (I assume many of them have been around for a while, like proverbs in the English language), is how similar many of them are to those English language proverbs.  People really are the same the world over.

    Incapable of being a blacksmith, you blame the metal or “A bad workman blames his tools”

    Prevention is better than a cure, or “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    Seize the chance when one arrives because it never comes twice, or “Opportunity knocks but once.”

    And so on.

    The 

    Tell me a thousand times, and I still wouldn’t understand; show me just once, and I would know for the rest of my life.

    Is very similar to the “teach a man to fish” proverb, which I think comes from China.  

    Wherever the proverbs originated, or whoever borrowed them from whom, they’re universally true.  Because, human.

     

     

     

    • #11
  12. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    I love these. Do you have any books of poems or adages like this that you could recommend?

    Unlike Sanskrit inscription, Khmer literature doesn’t really get much study. There are a few works that had been translated into French. You can go here and here for two short works of poetry. The first one was written by King Sri Dharmaraja II in the early 1600s. These are chbab (moral codes of conduct), which are didactic poems composed mostly by Buddhist monks. They’re used to teach reading and writing in the monastery schools. Some of the proverbs are taken from these poems. You can also find a lot of books on Sanskrit inscriptions (both in French and English). They included works of poetry and maxim.

    • #12
  13. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Major Major Major Major (View Comment):

    LC: Seeing a tiger sleep, you assume the tiger is dead; seeing a tiger crouch, you assume the tiger is kowtowing.

    I don’t really know why, but I find this one hilarious.

    Can’t be from reading comic strips…

    • #13
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