Saturday, October 11, 2008

A session with Ibrahim

Ibrahim: sometimes he sets up a table and sells assorted things

I had another "decipher the proverb" session with Ibrahim, and as always, it was revealing and silly. Most importantly, he explained one of the proverbs about dwarfs (there are several); Durkusa ma wa'da ba gajiyawa ba ne. In ka dirkusa mishi sai ka tashi da tsawonka. The translation given is: "Kneeling down for a dwarf is not sufficient. If you kneel down for him, you can then stand up to your height." Doesn't make much sense, does it? What it really says is: "Kneeling down for a dwarf is not going to exhaust you, and when you kneel down, you will realize your full height." So, take the time to acknowledge everyone, and you will see how great you really can be. (Too bad they use a dwarf as an example of an inferior being, otherwise it's a nice proverb.)

I also learned a new favorite: Shimhidar huska ya hi ta tabarma: "A welcoming face is even better than a welcoming mat." Ibrahim did a kickass job of acting this one out; he set up two scenarios to show that a person may roll a mat out for you when you arrive, but if they then turn their back on you and ignore you, what's so nice about the mat? Whereas if you show up and are greeted warmly and with smiles, it doesn't matter if there's a mat or not, because you're happy. Isn't that nice?

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