Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No time to scratch

Well, that was fun. Ibrahim and Suleil had a ball explaining proverb after proverb...they are very expressive and love to act out examples that demonstrate the morals. I asked about the one that says "Dislike your child and the world will love him." Turns out the translation is just bad; what it is supposed to mean is "Don't waste energy hating a person; it might make the rest of the world like him more." (Which, presumably, is not what you want.) Aha. Sometimes even if the proverb's translation is clear, I still like to ask Ibrahim to explain it: we always end up laughing at his antics and at my amused "enlightenment." Lots of the time it turns out that the message isn't exactly what I thought. My favorite from yesterday was: "Ba a game gudu da susar duwayya." (You can't run and scratch your bottom at the same time.) I read it and said "What? That's not true! I can run and scratch my bottom at the same time!" Ibrahim looked at me and said "Aha! But, Samsiye, IF I were to lift this stick and start beating you with it (picture him pretending to do so), you would dash off home, fast fast fast, and then would you have time to scratch your bottom? You'd be scared, going so time to scratch, no time!" So: the proverb is true. Assuming one is running because of fear, not for exercise, there's no time for anything but escape. Thank you Ibrahim.

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