‎Nurjahon Parvoeva


As part of the intangible cultural heritage of the Wakhi communities in Takistan and based on my long-term fieldwork in the respective areas since 2016, I tried to cover as many aspects as I could within the cultural and linguistic domains of the Wakhi community in Whakhan valley such as documentation of sayings, proverbs.

Hereunder, I will present some selective proverbs and sayings (along with their English translation) that I had collected from Hunza (by Fazal Amin Beg) alike in the northern Pakistan and Whakan valleys of Tajikistan that will clearly illustrate the worldviews and sociocultural constructs of these respective language communities.

1. Sыvza сы awәli borәn. Equivalent,a good beginning makes a good ending

2. Udgыng yarki tыr sar mыkat. Equivalent,never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

3. Kыli čizәn yaw wax̌t; nыždәni dы nami carn. Equivalent,make hay while the sun shines

4. Mirprič x̌ы fikri dы tobiston cart. Equivalent,make provision for a rainy day before and (in good time)

5. Bы qadri x̌ы minat γ̌tak; korkәn x̌ы bandi yarki dišt. Equivalent,hе works best who knows his trade

6. Sarosima xalg faqat šloq dыšt. Equivalent,hasty climbers have sudden falls

7. Sarosima yark arom. Equivalent,haste make waste

8. X̃inan yarkәn oxir nast. Equivalent,a woman’s work is never done

9. Xurrang yark crak. Equivalent,work like a horse

10. Cы bikorыn kыx̌t bizor. Equivalent, Idleness is the root of all evil

11. Cы bikorin sarxori. Equivalent, an idle brain is the devils work shop

12. šыm bǰәy ϑәṣ̌ tqi wost. Equivalent, idleness is the key to beggary

13. Yašәn yaw pыdi rә yupk di, yan pit yo nәy. Equivalent, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink

14. Agar xoiš car ti yark bror it, mыrdыmi mәrәmәy. Equivalent,if you want a thing well done, do it yourself.

15. Dast tәr dast yark tiz tiyor wost. Equivalent, many hands make light work

16. Dә ẓ̌arẓ̌ыn čirmit, dы tәx̌әn nыwәzd. Literally, possessing a misbehavior from the birth [used normally as slang].

17. Čut qumoč maẓ̌ sыtk nы kыrt, lang xur maẓ̌ tыr jay nыnix̌t. Literally, the half bread did not fill my stomach and the lame donkey did not made me towards my destination.

18. Θәγ̌d čыlgakыn nang nast, norыdownыn jang nast. Literally, going for engagement of a person’s daughter is not a question of honor and refusal for engagement (by the proposed female’s family) is not a matter of dishonor (leading towards quarrel or battle).

19. Dы х̌ы skidыn jang crak. Literally, to quarrel with one’s own skullcap/cap (means a behaviorally unfit person in any situation).

20. Krыstinыr xan, čыkmanin х̌ati γ̌ыrt. Literally, ask or scold the mantel-holder (of sheep or goats) and the mantel-holder (of factory) will understand it (means: if you want to ask or demand for something or scold an influential person, ask the one who is of your level down in front of him or her, the influential person will than understand).

21. Bu pыd dә i ṣ̌ыṣ̌k . Literally, put all peoples‘ feet in one shoes (meaning:a highly influential person overcoming all people in a society).

22. Xiyar xalgi di ta wыrgыṣ̌t xы yan yaw waqыv. Literally, put an old or senior person under a cage and consult him (meaning: don’t neglect the old or senior people who are source of great advice based on his long life experiences and knowledge).

23. Xыdoy yыm dasti tыt dast zor mыgox̌t. Literally, God shall not make one hand dependent upon the other.

24. X̃at ra х̌ы baxṣ̌ tuf mы car. Literally,don’t spit in your own plate.

25. X̃ы pыdi rыr х̌ы kыmpal čoq. Literally, stretch your feet according to your bed.

26. Palmzik wәšk ыb nani šapt, skurfzik х̌ы nani bas nәwizit. Literally, soft tongue kid will suck other mothers’ breast but the coarse tongued kid will not be able to suck one’s own mother’s breast.

27. Ṣ̌ыw may ruxn nыγ̌ird . Equivalent, a sheep is sheep whether a white or black.

28. Stowakыzg wundr kыrir dыšt. Literally, a praiseworthy (fertile) land will (ultimately) nourish thorns.

29. Šovыk dәryo, xәndaq kart. Literally, silent water will erode the banks clandestinely.

30. Yaš mirit xur yaw zroxәri wыdыrt. Literally, when the horse left (or died), the manager or trough remained for the donkey.

31. Cы wыṣ̌ыkn nыγurdumәr bәč x̌ыnak . Literally, in time of difficulty (or threat), accepting bear as one’s uncle.

32. Žы išыr glәс. Literally, my threshold is deeper than yours (implies that you are dependent upon me in one way or the other).

33. Cы ti γ̌aṣ̌әn nыwыzd ar ti grivon čirmit. Literally, your ill-will should return to your yourself.

34. X̃ы qsai mak diәt x̌an. Literally, review your thoughts and then talk.

35. May rәxk γ̌ыr gdoi, yaw х̌ati vritkәv. Literally, a sheep has gone for begging wool for itself but got its own neck wool off (removed).

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