INDIA: Flies do not swarm on a new pot. When the elephants battle, it's the mice who get crushed. When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. Never strike your wife - even with a flower. Flies swarm where there is honey. One NO overts seventy evils. There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self. Nothing is comprehensible except by virtue of its edges. A good bark year makes a good wheat year. Don't judge any man until you have walked two moons in his mocassins. Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf. -Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Poet (1861-1941) INDONESIA: Beautiful day, a gift for the traveller. IRAN: I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. IRAQ: We come into this world crying while all around us are smiling; May we so live that we go out of this world smiling while everybody around us is weeping. Even the hand of compassion is stung when it strokes a scorpion. For every grape a hundred wasps. He who has been bitten by a snake fears a piece of string. IRELAND: A sly rogue is often in good dress. One beetle knows another. One chafer knows another. A house can't be kept without talk. A new broom sweeps clean, but an old brush knows all the corners. Anything will fit a naked man. Every invalid is a physician. Keep a thing for seven years and you'll find a use for it. Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot. The herb that can't be got is the one that heals. The man that sits on the bank always hurls well. Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth. Where everyone goes, the grass never grows. There is pain in prohibition. The seeking for one thing will find another. Treachery returns. One man's meat is another man's poison. Time is a good story-teller. The mason who strikes often is better than the one who strikes too hard. It destroys the craft not to learn it. The stars make no noise. What is nearest the heart is nearest the mouth. It's for her own good that the cat purrs. Poor is the church without music. It's no delay to stop to edge the tool. You must empty a box before you fill it again. Poor men take to the sea; the rich to the mountains. The thief is no danger to the beggar. The full man does not understand the wants of the hungry. Some prefer carrot while others like cabbage. You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind. Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to a fool. A scholars ink lasts longer than a martyrs blood. Poverty parts good company. Put a beggar on horseback and he'll gallop. The longest road out is the shortest road home. The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune. Do not mistake a goats beard for a fine stallions tail. As the old cock crows the young cock learns. Even a tin knocker will shine on a dirty door. Any man can lose his hat in a fairy-wind. A blind man can see his mouth. A trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea. There is not a tree in heaven higher than the tree of patience. What is in the marrow is hard to take out of the bone. A buckle is a great addition to an old shoe. Nature will come through the claws, and the hound will follow the hare. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. An old broom knows the dirty corners best. Patience can conquer destiny. A silent mouth is sweet to hear. Praise the ripe field not the green corn. Nodding the head does not row the boat. Fear is a fine spur, so is rage. There is no fool who has not his own kind of sense. Better one good thing that is than two good things that were. He who can follow his own will is a king. Good luck beats early rising. The herb that can't be got is the one that heals. The day of the storm is not the time for thatching. The devil never grants long leases. It is not easy to steal where the landlord is a thief. There is pain in prohibition. Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth. It is no time to go for the doctor when the patient is dead. All sins cast long shadows. You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. ISRAEL: Who has no past, has no future. A half truth is a whole lie. God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. The fly does not kill, but it does spoil. Where there is abundance, there is poverty. God gave burdens, also shoulders. With honey you can catch more flies than with vinegar. If you want your dreams to come true, don't sleep. Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven. I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth. Worms eat you up dead maggots and worries eat you up alive. ITALY: Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. Even a fly has its anger. Teeth places before the tongue give good advice. Who gives bread to other's dogs is often barked at by his own. Better have one bee than a host of flies. The moth does most mischief to the finest garment. Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out. Tell not all you know, believe not all you hear, do not all you are able. Give neither counsel nor salt until you are asked for it. Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle. Land was never lost for want of an heir. Flies flock to the lean horse. Half a brain is enough for him who says little. Silence was never written down. Write down the advice of him who loves you, even if you don't like it at present. He who wants a great deal must not ask for little. He who begins many things finishes but a few. One may have good eyes and yet see nothing. Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out. Let every one keep off the flies with his own tail. Choose neither a woman nor linen by candlelight. Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty (Sicilian) If nothing is going well, call your grandmother. Big flies break the spider web. Everyone loves justice in the affairs of others. A favor to come is better than a hundred received. It is foolish to show glowworms by candle light. At a dangerous passage, yield to precedence. The fly that bites the tortoise breaks its beak. IVORY COAST: Too much discussion means a quarrel. Mutual gifts cement friendship. It takes two to make a quarrel. He who talks incessantly talks nonsense. Until the snake is dead, do not drop the stick. JAPAN: (getting more vulgar nowadays) Even a high tower starts at the ground. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger. A bell cricket is kept in its cage because of its song. There are no national frontiers to learning. Unlike the singing cicadas, the silent fireflies burn themselves. Foul-smelling objects swarm with flies. The Goddess of mercy has a thousand hands - and needs them all. First the man takes a drink. Then the drink takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man. We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. A bewildered crab does not enter its hole. The nail that sticks up will be hammered down. If you wish to learn the highest truths, start with the alphabet. I desire proof rather than argument. Some people like to make life a garden, and to walk only within its paths. If you wait, there will come nectar - like fair weather. Life is for one generation, a good name is forever. Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands. If you believe everything you read, you better not read. A centipede though dead will not fall. The summer insect knows not ice. The hinge of a door is never crowded with insects. Kill a small insect to let live a big one. Even a one-inch insect has a five tenths of a soul. A statement once let loose cannot be caught by four horses. An ant hole may collapse an embankment. Don't rejoice over him that goes until you seen him that comes. Even the wishes of a small ant reach heaven. A wasp stings the crying face. Let each person drive away his own wasps. KAZAKHSTAN: Feel like home but do not forget that you are a guest. KENYA: He who does not know one thing knows another. Who digs the well should not be refused water. Do not say the first thing that comes to your mind. There is no phrase without a double meaning. Hearts do not meet one another like roads. Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. Do not force an ivory bangle that does not fit into your hand. The one who is uninvited does not fail to cough. How easy it is to defeat people who do not kindle fire for themselves. Hearing is not seeing. A fly does not mind dying in coconut cream. Alone a youth runs fast, with an elderly slow, but together they go far. If you do not seal the holes, you will have to rebuild the walls A nice day, a gift for a street peddlar. LEBANON: He can swallow a camel but chokes on a mosquito. Flies know well the sweet seller's beard. Ticks, bedbugs and a crying child are insupportable. Sit on a wasp's nest and say "God wills it!" LESOTHO: If the palm of the hand itches it signifies the coming of great luck. The "hurry-hurry" person eats goat; the one who takes his or her time (or hesitates) eats beef. LIBERIA: A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing. Only when a tree has grown can you tie your cow to it. The moon lightens well but leaves certain areas in the dark. MADAGADSCAR: The end of an ox is beef, and the end of a lie is grief. Don't take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. Love is like a rice plant; transplanted, it can grow elsewhere. MALAYSIA: Although it may rain, cast not away the watering pot. As a bamboo conduit makes a round jet of water, so taking counseling together rounds men to one mind. Fear to let fall a drop, and you will spill a lot. If you dip your arm into the pickle pot, let it be up to the elbow. It is the fate of the coconut husk to float, the tone to sink. Kick away the ladder and one's feet are left dangling. Though a tree grow ever so high, the leaves fall near to the root. Where does the ant die except in sugar? MALI: The heart is not a knee, it does not bend. It is better to see to see for oneself than to be informed by a third person. Succour the traveller lest he return with his kindred and smite thee. If you want sex while traveling, travel with your wife. The habit of doing is second nature. Words have no legs, yet they walk. MALTA: To destroy the cobweb, destroy the spider. Better an ant's head than a lion's tail. A dogs fleas are its jewels. MANX (people who come from the ISLE OF MAN): Two small lobsters make a big one. MAURITANIA: Men resemble their times much more than they resemble their fathers. MEXICO: Necessity is mother of every invention. Where there are trees there are no builders. The man who does not eat chile could be a sorcerer. No fly dares to get near a boiling kettle. The best way to put an end to the bugs is to set fire to the bed. MOROCCO: He who fears something gives it power over him. The camel carries the load, but it is the tick that complains. Into a closed mouth no fly will enter. A fig tree with figs turned out to be a ruin with mosquitoes. Better a handful of bees than a basket full of flies. The heart of a fool is in his mouth, the mouth of a wise man is in his heart. If a man told you that a dog had run off with your ear, would you go after the dog or search first for your ear? Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face. Discipline awaits he who leaves his path. Plans fail for lack of counsel but with many advisors, succeed. A dog on the run is safely kicked. He who is a mocker dances without a tamborine. Some will learn through pain and sorrow, others through joy and laughter, so it is written. To the dog who has money, men say: my lord dog. When a dog cannot bite, it has a bone in its mouth. He who touches honey is compelled to lick his fingers. By all means make friends with the dog, but do not lay aside the stick. Better a handful of dried figs and content with that, than to own the gate of peacocks and be kicked in the eye by a broody camel. The hand you cannot bite, kiss. He who eats when he is full digs his grave with his teeth. The driver of an ass must by necessity know its wind. Catch the halter rope and it will lead you to the donkey. Strike a match above the sea of opinions and the fish all swim away. The moon and the stars are not above us, the earth is on the other side of our feet. The dreaming man makes excuses for his inaction and places a fools cap on his head. With much knowledge there is much sorrow, with much wisdom there is much weeping. Angels bend down their wings to a seeker of knowledge. By all means trust in Allah, but tie your camel first. Do not shoot a glass arrow into a painted deer. Open your door to a good day and prepare yourself for a bad one. He is a good storyteller who can turn a man's ears into eyes. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bone. An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold, but Allah tests the heart. He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their maker. He who lacks knowledge derides his neighbor, but the man of understanding holds his tongue. If you're going to tell the truth, you better have one foot in the stirrup. A devil takes one and makes two, a saint takes two and makes one. What is past is gone, what is hoped for is absent, for you is the hour in which you are. Few desires, happy life. Better the gurgling of a camel than the prayers of a fish. For he who builds his casbah out of halava; beware the nibblers. A wise woman has much to say and yet remains silent. As the sands of the desert are to the weary traveler, so are words to he who loveth silence. That which you put into your soup kettle, comes latter onto your spoon. If a man puts a cord around his neck, God will provide someone to pull it. A book is like a garden in the pocket. A teacher will appear when the student is ready. For the sake of a single rose, the gardener becomes servant to a thousand thorns. Let us sit bent, but talk straight. Every rose has a thorn as its friend. The camel driver has his plans and the camel has his. If at noon the King declares it is night, behold the stars. If you see a man riding a wooden stick, say to him "Good health to your horse". If the prayers of dogs were answered, bones would rain from the sky. Do not judge a man by the whiteness of his turbin, soap is bought on credit. A camel never sees his own hump, but those of his brothers are always before him. In his heart a man may plan his course but God determines his every step. The same destiny awaits both the wise man and the fool. Do not correct with a strike that which can be taught with a kiss. A fool's lips bring him strife and invite a beating. Like a gold ring in a pigs snout is a woman without descretion. Better a patient man than a warrior, one who controls his temper than one who takes a city. The mind is free and the slightest thought has great influence. It is therefore important that you think enlightened thoughts. One who prevades the great universe is seen by none unless a man knows the unfolding of love. Man alone is the measure of all things. Every dog thinks of his own fleas as gazelles. He who follows the crow will be led the the corpses of dogs. Courage is illusion, balance is the best we can get. Though each path is different, there is only one way. In an instant illumination can be achieved, it is as easy as turning on a light, the problem is finding the switch in the dark. The dawn does not come twice to awaken a man. What use to cover a mend in the Mona Lisa with a crayon. Time wounds all heels. The palm of ones hand does not eclipse the sun. The best fighting is often against yourself. A narrow space looks wide to the narrow minded. Kindness can pluck the whiskers of a lion. He who has patience with his enemy, rewards himself. Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame. The jewel is in the lotus. Nothing is true, all is permissable. The weight of the burden is known only by he who caries it. The wind of heaven is that which blows between the horses ears. If I listen, I have the advantage; if I speak, others have it. The village gate can be closed, the mouth of the fool, never. Without fingers, the hand would be a spoon. Allah gives dried beans to eat to him who has no teeth left. The barking of dogs does not hurt the clouds. The world of humans is divided by lines, but the mind knows no limits, the heart no barriers. The tongue has no bone yet it crushes. All tests are self-adminstered. Often the best way to give oneself what one lacks is to take from oneself what one has. Even the loftiest of mountains begins on the ground. What is here is elsewhere, what is not here is no where. He who does not travel will not know the value of men The desert road is a giant that casts no shadow. It is man, not the desert, that eats you. MOZAMBIQUE: Walking in two is medicine. A tender bamboo cannot be eagerly desired for building. NETHERLANDS: Grasp time and learn to know the world. Many seek good nights and lose good days. Nobody's sweetheart is ugly. More flies are caught with a spoonful of syrup than a cask of vinegar. No one is rich enough to do without a neighbor. He who is outside the door has the hardest part of the journey behind him. The fly flutters around the candle till at last it gets burnt. Roasted pigeons will not fly into your mouth. You can't hatch chickens from fried eggs. Trees often transplanted seldom prosper. One cannot shoe a running horse. NIGER: Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them. NIGERIA: Seeing is better than hearing. You cannot shave a man's head in his absence. It takes a whole village to raise a child. Covetousness is the father of disease. When we cry, we see. A mother is like a kernel, crushed by problems but strong enough to overcome them. Hold a true friend with both your hands. Whent he mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby. NORWAY: A wooer should open his ears more than his eyes. Snow is the peasant's wealth. PERU: Envy for a friend is like the taste of a sour pumpkin. The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. PHILIPPINES: Better to walk in the rain than to wear a raincoat that doesn’t fit. Trust not in the appearance of tree as one sound and healthy, for who knows if it is infested with very harmful pests. The hardest person to awaken is he who is already awake. A man bitten by a centipede must be dirty. Daughters and fish should not be kept long. POLAND: Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true. Better no doctor at all than three. PORTUGAL: Every fly has its shadow. An hour of play discovers more than a year of conversation. He that would speak the truth must have one foot in the stirrup. He who serves two masters has to lie to one. Peace with a cudgel in hand is war. The fish dies by its mouth. What was hard to bear is sweet to remember. Visits always give a good pleasure, if not by arriving then by the departure. PHILIPPINES: A long voyage begins with just one step. Where the sugar is, there will the ant be also. The fly that stands on the carabao's (water buffalo) back thinks that it is taller than the carabao. ROMANIA: The anvil fears no blows. A cunning person's kiss is like that of a mosquito. The locust lives only a little while, but it does great damage. If you wish to die young, make your physician your heir. There is no good accord where every man would be a lord. Men are not angels. Anger is a short madness. Beads about the neck and the devil in the heart. Call the bear 'uncle' till you are safe across the bridge. We soon believe what we desire. A cracked bell can never sound well. Children and fools tell the truth. The nearer the church, the farther from God. In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king. The eye lets in love. Fields have eyes, woods have ears. The master's footsteps fatten the soil. There is no going to heaven in a sedan. Honey is sweet, but the bee stings. It is not with saying honey, that sweetness will come into the mouth. He that labours and thrives spins gold. Man proposes, God disposes. One and none is all one. The pleasures of the mighty are the tears of the poor. He that would learn to pray, let him go to sea. The voice of the people is the voice of God. Yesterday will not be called again. RWANDA: Only God generates, man only educates. When your beard appears, childhood disappears. You can outdistance that which you are running from, but not from what's running inside you. The tree falls on the side where it's leaning. [We die as we live] There is no single skull which gives itself advice. [Two heads are better than one] The inside of the belly is far away. [A person's thoughts are secret] When in someone else's home leave your defects at the door. The sorghum might degenerate, but the species doesn't. Panache is not sorghum. [Beauty is not everything] He who has a roof over his head sleeps well. Friendship is worth more than a day's wages. A man's heart is not a sack open to all. All those that crow now were once eggs. If you shake a dog, you shake his owner. A greeting will be repaid in kind. Physical frailty builds character. You find a friend in bad times. RUSSIA: Trust, but verify. Education is light, lack of it is darkness. In the steppe even a beetle is meat. If the thunder is not loud, the peasant forgets to cross himself. An old loan repaid is like finding something new. With lies you may get ahead in the world - but you can never go back. An indispensable thing never has much value. The horses of hope gallop, but the asses of experience go quickly. Sit a beggar at your table and he will soon put his feet on it. If you put your nose into water, you will also wet your cheeks. Only fleas are to be caught quickly. Take thy thoughts to bed with thee, for the morning is wiser than the evening. It is easy to undress the naked. They gave the naked man a shirt, and he said it was too thick. Don't worry if you borrow, but worry if you lend. An egg is dear on Easter Day. Flies and priests can enter any house. A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words. The sun will shine into our yard too. After a storm fair weather, after sorrow joy. All are not cooks that walk with long knives. All cats are grey at night. Every seed knows its time. Any fish is good if it is on the hook. The one who draws the cart is urged on. All is well that ends well. All is not gold that glitters. The appetite comes during a meal. As you cooked the porridge, so must you eat it. As you make your bed, so you will sleep. It is a bad workman that has a bad saw. Better late than never. Better to stumble than make a slip of the tongue. Beware of a quite dog and still water. A bird may be known by its flight. One fisherman sees another from afar. Take the bull by the horns. Idleness is the mother of all vices. A fly will not come into a closed mouth. There will be trouble if the cobbler starts making pies. A drop hollows out a stone. A wolf won't eat wolf. You do not need a whip to urge on an obedient horse. Do not look at gift hourse's mouth. A man should not be struck when he is down. You do not swap horses while crossing the fjord. A drowing man clutches at straw. It is good to be visiting, but it is better at home. The end is the crown of any work. The tongue speaks, but the head doesn't know. Every sandpiper praises its own swamp. There is no evil without good. If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. He who doesn't risk never gets to drink champagne. The hammer shatters glass but forges steel. One who sits between two chairs may easily fall down. To ask is no sin and to be refused is no calamity. A man without a wife is like a man in winter without a fur hat. The wolf will hire himself out very cheaply as a shepherd. He need not search his pockets for words. The offender never forgives. A kind word is like a spring day. An enemy will agree, but a friend wil argue. Devils live in quiet pond. Wild ducks and tomorrow both come without calling. The old bear falls into the old trap. No matter how much you feed a wolf he will always return to the forest. A lizard on a cushion will still seek leaves. It is easy to undress the naked. In the kingdom of hope there is no winter. No one is dragged to heaven by the hair. Happiness is not a horse, you cannot harness it. To ask is no sin and to be refused is no calamity. Love and eggs are best when they are fresh. When you meet a man judge him by his clothes, when you leave a man judge him by his heart. SAO TOME & PRINCIPE: Eggs should never be beaten with stones. SAUDI ARABIA: The dogs bark but the caravan passes. Who does not think that his fleas are gazelles? The locust flies with the wings of a falcon. He who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. Money begets money, lice beget lice. It´s better to keep your secrect yourself, than letting someone else do it. All sunshine makes a desert. A bed bug has a hundred children and says how few. Trust in Allah, but tie your camel. One tiny insect may be enough to destroy a country. Charity is a silent prayer. Who does not understand a look, cannot understand long explanations. When the ant grows wings it is about to die. If you have health, you have hope. If you have hope, you have everything. When they started to shoe the Sultan's horse, the beetle stretched out its leg. The dung beetle, seeing its child on the wall, thinks it sees a pearl on a thread. The beetle is a beauty in the eyes of its mother. Two scorpions in a small cave are better than two sisters in the house. The beetle is a bride in the arms of its mother. For every bean full of weevils God supplies a blind grocer. Nothing but a handful of dust will fill the eye of man. The palm tree must have its head in fire and its feet in water. SCOTLAND: A penny saved is a penny earned. Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead. Learn young, learn fair. Learn old, learn more. SENEGAL: (including Serere tribe) Equality is not easy, but superiority is painful. An empty sack cannot stand. A healthy ear can stand hearing sick words. Whether you wait for tomorrow or not, it still comes. SLOVAKIA: The young lobster learns his manner of walking from the old lobster. SLOVENIA: Speak the truth, but leave immediately after. An ant is over six feet tall when measured by its own foot-rule. SOMALIA: A mouthful of camel's milk keeps you going for half a day. SOUTH AFRICA: A turtle never abandons its carriage. SPAIN: A full stomach makes a happy person. No flies get into a shut mouth. One bee is better than a thousand flies. Educate the crows and they pluck out your eyes. A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools. More things grow in the garden than the gardener sows. Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. The busy fly is in every man's dish. He who has been stung by a scorpion is afraid of its shadow. The spiders web lets the rat escape and catches the fly. No flies land on a boiling pot. SRI LANKA: Wisdom can be found travelling. SUDAN: Words can kill before arms. A generous man must eat if he wants to continue to be one. A village without elderly is like a tree without roots. Greed for the things of this world will keep the soul out of Paradise. Where a river flows, there is abundance. An undecided man is the worst disaster of the village. Passion and hatred are children of intoxicating beverages. SWEDEN: Those who wish to sing always find a song. God gives every bird the worm, but he does not throw it into the nest. Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow. The butterfly often forgets it once was a caterpillar. Advice should be viewed from behind. In spring no one thinks of the snow that fell last year. Fear less, hope more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will come. SWITZERLAND: The night rinses what the day has soaped.
Countries beginning with letters A-H
Countries beginning with letters T-Z