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We would like to present you with some Sara proverbs, taken from the book "Sagesse Sara : Recueil de proverbes du pays sadu Tchad" by Jean-Michel Bortheirie and Masrasdibay Miraina. The Sara peoples (Ngambay, Sar, Mbay, Ngam, etc.) live in the southern region of Chad, near the border with the Central African Republic.  This book is publishes by Service Audio-visuel pour l'ducation du diocse de Sarh (SAVE). For more information about this book, please contact us directly.

Teda Proverbs

 

   
nan ngon k ngon.
The maternal uncle of a child is the mother of the child.
We have more pity on the children of our sister than those of our brother.  The maternal uncle is always ready to meet the needs of his nephews.

i-bbol mdi t, i-rai bbe.
If you respect your friend, you will build the village (at a relational level).
When two persons are working together, if one of them is arrogant, he should not be imitated.  If he thinks of himself as your chief, or if he insults you, do not answer him, or rather, answer him with your silence. 

oo ya mdi , oon yai o.
Listen to what is said of your friend; listen for yourself also.
When we criticise an enemy, you will also be criticised. When death strikes your mate, remember that your turn will also come one day.

ngon w mba t, gr mba.
First, the child goes on a trip, then he discovers the stranger.
Those who stay put, who do not leave the village, know very little. To know the customs of foreigners, one must travel.

y mende, r md n , n o.
Death is as the game of "mnd"; if your friend plays, play with him.
"Mnd" is a game played by girls who take one another by the arms to throw themselves.  The game of "mnd" is played together.  One girl cannot play "mnd" alone, it requires two or more players.  Death leads to spending time mourning together in large numbers.  When your friend is experiencing difficulties, you must rescue them.  When your turn comes, he will come to your rescue.  Help is a mutual gift.

mn gang, b bbo gang l.
It can stop raining, but hunger has no hunger.
During the rainy season, it might rain from morning until evening.  If one is afraid to go out, one will remain indoors, without eating.  One goes to the fields in the morning; if it rains and one does not go, at harvest time, they will not reap a harvest, and hence, they will go hungry.  One must not be afraid of the rain if one does not want to go hungry.

km ng-bbol, b ji ng-ra.
LThe eyes are afraid but the hands are the ones that work.
Do not judge the difficulty of a job before actually working at it.

ng-ta t t, nl ky t l.
The one who reminds the mouth of the sauce would not dare to drink the sauce down.
When eating a meal together, if someone says, "watch out, the sauce is almost gone, take it slowly!"  This person will be the one to profit from it.  In the case of trickery, the one who says "watch out!" is usually the one guilty of the offence.

y k ky t, i-ra k ngng l.
The things that are on the neck or at the throat: do not do them forcefully.
QWhen we have a problem, when we are at fault, or when we are accused, it is far better to know how to resolve the situation with wisdom rather than with force.  Sometimes those who are in the wrong do not accept that they are wrong, and this worsens their situation.

nj k t l sl t i kla bajl.
The word of the night is the tail of the black margouillat (lizard).
The tail of the black margouillat is of two colours, striped white and brown.  Meetings held at night do not have value.  Serious matters are communicated in the morning, after a good night's rest, when all parties are free from the tiredness of work or the confusion of alcohol.

k di t , k ji t so.
If you see what is on your head, what is in your hand will fall.
The hand holds the burden on your head.  One cannot pay attention to several things at once.  If we do, everything will fall apart all at once.

ng-kl kag l, s k bbogr.
The one who does not climb the tree eats the fruit that is unripe.
Passers-by gather the fruit of the mango tree (etc.) that are most easily reached, and leave the unripe fruit.  Those who do not make an effort will not have good results.  When we send you to do something and you do not go, you will be looked down upon.

bbt k bbi s mnjo l.
The monkey who sleeps does not eat the beans.
If you sleep, you will miss out.  Those who are absent, are always wrong.  It is far better to be at events when they happen, to avoid losing out on an opportunity.

md-bbe ng-tl hr d t.
Your neighbour is the one who kills (extinguishes) the fire at your home.
One must never do harm to one's neighbour because we will need their help, even if they are not from the same tribe and we ask you to harm him.

gwr k ngon k kmn.
Even the little squash has its seeds.
The child also has ideas to share and advice to lavish upon us.  In the case of a meeting, those who are young also have their word to say.

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Certainly the Sara are not the only ones who have important proverbs to share with the world!  Please, take the time to send us several proverbs from your region, and thank you in advance!
 

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