“Atasözleri” – A Friday Fare

Sometime ago, flipping through some airline travel magazine, I came across an interesting article about a wonderful country – Turkey…  An ancient land of rich, diverse culture… Whose melody I could get a glimpse of, when I read a quote of their novelist, Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006… Asked about his creativity, the writer said: “”I am just listening to an inner music, the mystery of which I don’t completely know. And I don’t want to know.”  (btw… Net Info says Orhan Pamuk is partner with Kiran Desai, Man Booker Prize winning novelist… Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -> वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् … The world is one family….. )

A statement like that of Pamuk surely invites you for more… And surfing around during moments of ‘creative pause’ in the workaday ‘fast-forward or perish’ mode of life, I came across some old Turk wisdom….

Ok… Proverbs time…

The Rig Veda says: आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः… Let noble thoughts come to us from all the world… And so, here comes…

Translations of some ‘Atasozleri’, the Turkish word for proverbs….literally means – “Ancestor Words” …

  • Do not roll up your trouser-sleeves before you see the stream
  • The person who holds the honey, licks his fingers
  • If dogs’ prayers are answered, it would rain bones from the sky
  • He who wants yogurt in the winter must carry a cow in his pocket (meaning: if you want something difficult, you must be willing to take the trouble to obtain it)
  • He who has burned his mouth on milk blows on yogurt before eating it
  • If they said there was a wedding in the sky, women would try to put up a ladder
  • It’s not a festival time, it’s not a pleasure trip, then why did my brother-in-law kiss me? (Meaning: There must be a reason behind this… daal mein kuch kaalaa hai…)
  • A defeated wrestler is not tired of wrestling.
  • Even if you know a thousand things, still ask someone who knows
  • Sharp vinegar only damages its container

  • A bachelor feels like a sultan
  • To a bachelor, divorcing a wife comes easy
  • The fly is small, but it can upset your stomach
  • The tree branch should be bent when it is young
  • Free vinegar is sweeter than honey
  • The one that falls in to the sea grabs even a snake
  • If you give him cloth, he’ll ask for the lining
  • Stretch your feet according to your blanket
  • I tell it to my daughter, for my daughter-in-law to understand
  • Reversing losses at whatever point is a profit
  • A village that you can see in a distance does not require a guide
  • The one who enters a Turkish bath, sweats
  • Demand a task from a lazy person, and be ready to receive advise
  • It is better to walk around a bush than fight with a dog.

Wanna hear the sound of ‘ancestor words’?

  • “Ben ağa, sen ağa, bu ineği kim sağa”

Meaning:  I’m a chief and you’re a chief, who will milk the cow?

OK… folks… Have a Thoughtful, Happy, Good Friday!


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One Response to ““Atasözleri” – A Friday Fare”

  1. Thiru Says:

    Brilliant GK. Each one a gem.

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