Yemeni Proverbs for All Occasions [Archives:2001/32/Culture]

August 6 2001

Saad Shareef Taher 
Iraqi Teacher of English 
Yemeni proverbs are an essential part of Yemeni culture because they are the spoken expression used by Yemenis during their daily public activities. They are the mirror that reflects simple thinking by which the people are expressing their daily life, habits and customs. They are the living records of politics, agriculture and wisdom throughout history. One can grasp by them minute details of the simple Yemeni society and have an actual picture of what can be in their mind. From the large number of such proverbs, I have chosen the following glittering gems: 
Proverbs for social purposes: 
1-[Ya Weledi lek weleduk]
Meaning: Son, you will have a son who will give you the same treatment. 
Comment: Respecting parents is a debt through generations, (i.e.) if someone treats them kindly, he will be treated kindly too, and vice versa. 
Situation: when we expect people to show respect to the elders. 
2-[Ma teir illa breesh]
Meaning: A father can’t be comfortable without having boys because they help him. If he has no boys, he will be like bird problems or at least is scorned. 
Situation: when describing life without kids. 
3-[ja lish weled ya dabbah galet killin ala kitabeh] 
Meaning: when a she-donkey gives birth to a donkey the he-donkey will not beat goods instead of her, therefore she won’t be happy whether the child is a boy or a girl. 
Situation: when parents suffer form their useless boys. 
4-[Rabeitak yathawr tiridanni]
Meaning: My ox, I used to feed you but you butted me. 
Comment: Oxen are unfaithful; in spite of your long feeding they butt you. 
Situation: when parents do their best to bring up their kids and the kids show disobedience when they grow up. 
5-[Men a’awel ahwel]
Meaning: He who has many children faces difficulties 
Comment: A father of too many children suffers much in bringing the 
up and he should work harder. 
Situation: when describing tired parents because of their kids.