The US Ambassador to Finland, Bruce Oreck, was recently interviewed for Finland’s biggest newspaper. He gave us Finns some tips on how to become more successful. (Although I should, let me not (now) go into the details of questioning the adjective successful as a universally agreed concept or success as a meaning of life).

Anyhow, one of the tips was to become better at storytelling. I have to say this particular tip echoed in my heart. I love the language of elderly Finnish people who seem to have a proverb for any situation in life. Proverbs make languages more fun and more personal. They make any story more vivid.

Proverbs are also an important part of the Amharic language. “You know, there is a saying in Amharic…” is a sentence I often hear.  Every situation can be explained through an idiom.

So here is what I did. I invented some proverbs of my own based on what I have experienced here in Ethiopia. Add a photo and the proverb written on it in Comic Sans font. Voilà, you have a publication.

Some of them you might understand only if you been to Ethiopia. Some of them may have a deeper meta meaning which I myself might also be unaware of.


Story told orallyNameMosquitoesMonekyIf there is a donkey on the roadGreetingsForestDanceCoffeeancestorsEthiopia

P.S. By the way! This blog is being read by people from so many countries. Who are you, readers from New Caledonia, Syria or Peru? Or what about Kuwait, Vietnam, Laos and Sweden? I am sure you have some proverbs to share with the Selam Selam community here. What kind of proverbs exist in your countries? Or have you made up your own?

7 thoughts on “Proverbs!

    1. Moi Anssi! Huippua kuulla, että luet edelleen. 🙂 Pelkäsin, että kielenvaihdos karkotti osan lukijoista. Mutta onneksi ei tässä tapauksessa käynyt niin. Terkkuja täältä Aitooseen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s