Salam Aleykoum! It’s time for another Moroccan Friday, a series in which I aim to shine a light on the country I grew up in. The series strives to explore various topics, swaying between reality and legends, geographical wonders and curious traditions. You can discover previous posts here.
(NB: From now on, I will only be posting on the first Friday of each month.)
Proverbs are a great way to understand a culture. They have often been passed on from one generation to another, sometimes in writing but often, especially in Morocco, by word of mouth. I have come across many Moroccan sayings while growing up and even more while researching my novel.
So I have decided to give you a glimpse of Moroccan wisdom. Here are 17 Berber proverbs to muse over.
- A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
- Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
- Dawn does not come twice to awake a man.
- The land where the stones know you is worth more than the land where the people know you.
- Silence is the door of consent.
- Every road has two directions.
- For the sake of one rose, the gardener becomes the servant of a thousand souls.
- He who leaves his house in search of happiness pursues a shadow.
- Pleasant words will draw a snake from its hole.
- The morning hour has gold in its mouth.
- If a man puts a cord around his neck, God will provide someone to pull it.
- Day has its eyes, night has its ears.
- Everything which you find you should keep until Time says to you, Give it.
- The almond trees lie and the apricots speak the truth.
- A man without children is like a horse without a tether.
- Nobody is really a man but he who is with other men.
And finally, when Moroccans pour mint tea, you will often hear the following proverb:
- The first glass is as gentle as life, the second glass is as strong as love, the third glass is as bitter as death.
Try as I may, I can’t decide on a favourite. There is something so powerful about number 2. I also love how strong the sense of community is in number 16. As for number 10, isn’t it just beautiful?
What about you? Any favourites?