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100 Multicultural Proverbs
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100 Multicultural Proverbs
Inspirational Affirmations for Educators



December 2007 | 120 pages | Corwin
Proverbs are an important part of the multicultural experience and they are consistently intertwined with socio-cultural and political webs of the people. Proverbs depict and unveil generational continuity, wisdom, power, and humility. To a large measure, they provide deeper meanings and explications of complex situations, events, and daily activities. They portray a true picture of the originality and valuing of oral tradition to the multicultural perspective. In more ways than one, proverbs expose dialogue and discourse as a part of the vernacular of people and they are the icing on the cake in daily oral interactions of diverse communities in the United States and around the world.

In 100 Multicultural Proverbs: Underlying Educational Principles for Today's Educators and Leaders, proverbs from different African, Asian, Native American, and Latino tribes, communities, and countries are presented. These proverbs have implications for collaboration, consultation, and cooperation. Everyone has a role in building his or her community. The influx of immigrant minorities into the fabric of the United States society makes it imperative for educators and leaders to change their ways of thinking, teaching, learning, and leading. Clearly, the paradigms and powers have shifted in our society - we can and must learn from each other. To a large extent, this book exposes different ways to solve problems - some ways are through serious thinking and some are through humor.

 
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Author
 
1. Proverbs That Teach Self-Responsibility
Proverb #1: If Everyone Loves You, You Will Not Know Who Poisoned You

 
Proverb #2: If You Tell a Tree that You Will Kill It...

 
Proverb #3: The Rat That Joins the Lizard to Get Wet in the Rain...

 
Proverb #4: What You’re Looking for Is What You Will Get

 
Proverb #5: What a Person Does Is in His Heart

 
Proverb #6: If You’ve Not Reached Where You’re Going, You Should Keep Going

 
Proverb #7: Eneke the Bird Noted That Since Men Have Learned to...

 
Proverb #8: Your Intelligence Is Your Handbag, and You Carry It...

 
Proverb #9: When a Young Man Washes His Hands Properly...

 
Proverb #10: The Lizard That Fell From the Iroko Tree Said That If...

 
Proverb #11:The Person Who Blows the Flute Must Sometimes Wipe His Mouth

 
Proverb #12:The Dog Does Not Chew the Bone That Is Hanging Around Its Neck

 
Proverb #13: If You Do Not Allow People to Know What Your Size...

 
Proverb #14: If You Pull a Tree and It Pulls You Back, You Should Leave it Alone

 
Proverb #15: If One Is Not Careful, What Destroyed His Father Might Destroy Him

 
Proverb #16: As You Make Your Bed so Will You Lie on It

 
Proverb #17: If You Try to Wrestle Down Your Father, His Wrapper Will Cover Your Eyes

 
Proverb #18: When You Chew the Dried Meat, it Fills Up Your Mouth

 
Proverb #19: You Can Cry All You Want, But You Cannot Cry Out Blood

 
Proverb #20: Where You Live Is Where You Protect

 
Proverb #21: Money Is the Beauty of a Man

 
Proverb #22: It Is Not the Load That Breaks Us Down; It Is the Way We Carry It

 
Proverb #23: A Good Name Shines in the Dark

 
Proverb #24: A Person Who Does Not Concede Defeat Is Not a Good Sport

 
Proverb #25: A Person Who Praises the Rain Has Been Rained On

 
 
2. Proverbs That Teach Collaboration and Consultation
Proverb #1: Life Is in the Ears

 
Proverb #2: To Come and Eat Is Not to Come and Work!

 
Proverb #3: A Tree Cannot Make a Forest

 
Proverb #4: When Mother Cow Is Chewing Grass, the Younger Ones Look at Her Mouth

 
Proverb #5: It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child

 
Proverb #6: When You Wrestle Someone to the Ground, You Also...

 
Proverb #7: A Fool Does Not Know That His Brother or Sister Is a Visitor

 
Proverb #8: The Fly Without an Advisor Follows the Dead Body Into the Grave

 
Proverb #9: A Gathering of Kinsmen and Kinswomen Is an...

 
Proverb #10: When Two Elephants Fight, Grasses Suffer

 
Proverb #11: Laughter Is Just a Matter of Moving Back the Cheek

 
Proverb #12: A Good Friend Is Better Than a Bad Family Member

 
Proverb #13: The Tiger’s Cub Does Not Chew Grass

 
Proverb #14: If You Give Your Mother a Counterfeit Money, You...

 
Proverb #15: The Person Who Sits Next to Someone Can Easily Smell His Mouth

 
Proverb #16: The Knife and the Axe Do Not Compete

 
Proverb #17: You Cannot Climb a Tree Without Support

 
Proverb #18: Let the Kite and the Eagle Perch and Whichever One...

 
Proverb #19: The Crazy Person and His Mind Understand

 
Proverb #20: In My Poverty, Let Not Poverty Befall the Person Who...

 
Proverb #21: The Child’s Home, Even If It Is Trashy, Is Always a Palace Away From Home

 
Proverb #22: The Rooster Does Not Forget Who Plucked Its Feathers...

 
Proverb #23: When the Moon Is Shining, a Person With a Physical...

 
Proverb #24: When a Child Is Tired of Working, He Resorts to Fighting

 
Proverb #25: When You Dig a Ditch for Others, You Might Fall in It

 
 
3: Proverbs That Teach Spirituality
Proverb #1: If You’re Eating With the Devil, You Must Use a Long Spoon

 
Proverb #2: If You Fall Down and Do Not Stand Up, Evil Will Take Over

 
Proverb #3: God Does Not Give You a Load That You Cannot Carry

 
Proverb #4: Evildoers Are Usually Pursued By Their Own Shadows

 
Proverb #5: Do Not Put Yourself Where Your Faith Will Fail You

 
Proverb #6: I Am Holding My Staff and You Are Holding Your...

 
Proverb #7: The Toughest Head Carries the Masquerade

 
Proverb #8: Let’s Continue to Sacrifice and Let the Blame Go to the Gods

 
Proverb #9: God Gives and God Takes

 
Proverb #10: If You Are Better Than Someone, You Might Be Better...

 
Proverb #11: No Person Is God

 
Proverb #12: God Knows the Heart of Everyone

 
Proverb #13: The Same Mother Delivers the Children, but the Same...

 
Proverb #14: When You Believe, Your God Will Believe

 
Proverb #15: God’s Time Is The Best

 
Proverb #16: You Can Never Become Someone Else’s God

 
Proverb #17: The Opportunity That God Sends Does Not Wake Up...

 
Proverb #18: Everyone Has His/Her Own God

 
Proverb #19: There Is No Partnership Between Good and Evil

 
Proverb #20: A Person Who Ridicules Good Will Become Overtaken by Evil

 
Proverb #21: The Fear of God Is Not Based on What We Wear

 
Proverb #22: A Person Who Trusts in God Lacks Nothing

 
Proverb #23: A Witch Doctor Does Not Cure Himself

 
Proverb #24: Where There Are Many People, There God Is

 
Proverb #25: The Veil Spirit of a Person Is a Person

 
 
4. Proverbs That Teach Other Life Lessons
Proverb #1: Nights Have Ears

 
Proverb #2: As Much as You Love Your Husband, You Will Not Want to be Buried Alive With Him

 
Proverb #3: When a Poor Person Is Told What It Takes to Be Rich...

 
Proverb #4: The Frog Does Not Come Out in the Daytime for Nothing

 
Proverb #5: A Traveler Is More Knowledgeable Than an Aged Person

 
Proverb #6: The Dying Dog Does Not Smell the Bad Odor

 
Proverb #7: We Never Go Back to Yesterday

 
Proverb #8: Patience Is King

 
Proverb #9: You Do Not Tell the Deaf Person That...

 
Proverb #10: The Hot Soup Is Usually Licked Slowly

 
Proverb #11: When the Wind Blows, You See the Chicken’s Buttocks

 
Proverb #12: Truth Is Life

 
Proverb #13: Soiled Hands Lead to the Oily Mouth

 
Proverb #14: The Patient Person Eats the Best Part of the Fish

 
Proverb #15: All Lizards Are Lying on Their Stomachs, and...

 
Proverb #16: When the Child’s Sore Is Healed, He Tends to Forget the Pain

 
Proverb #17: A Child Must Crawl Before Walking

 
Proverb #18: The Look of a Child Determines If You Will Take Food From Him

 
Proverb #19: It Does Not Matter How Bad the Yam Is; It Is Still...

 
Proverb #20: When Dried Bones Are Mentioned, Old People Feel Uneasy

 
Proverb #21: A Person Who Is Already on the Floor Does Not...

 
Proverb #22: Tomorrow Is Pregnant; No One Knows What It Might Deliver

 
Proverb #23: There Is No Use for a Dry Porridge

 
Proverb #24: As the Cow Gets Older, Its Nostrils Get Bigger

 
Proverb #25: Anything With a Beginning Must Have an End

 
 
Afterword

"A rich, lively, and positive commentary on our global cultures. Obiakor's selection of proverbs and the conceptual framework for the book is, to say the least, powerful. Equally impressive and effective are his brief interpretations and prescriptions for the appropriate use of these proverbs for those involved in education, leadership, and service provision."

From the Foreword by Jacob U. Gordon

"Obiakor poignantly bestows upon us the infinite wisdom of culturally diverse peoples that has been passed down from generation to generation. At the same time, he provides interpretations that challenge us to rethink traditional school leadership and teaching styles in ways that lead to transformed educational practices for all learners—adults and children alike—in an age of accountability and reform."

Stanley C. Trent, Associate Professor of Special Education
University of Virginia

"Obiakor’s interpretations of the proverbs challenge the ordinary mind to shift paradigms and power and expand our imaginations to use real principles to solve real problems. In addition, his interpretations uniquely touch on all facets of life and challenge educators and leaders to do the right thing."

William B. Harvey, Vice President for Equity & Diversity Affairs
University of Virginia

"Teachers and administrators will find it a fine collection useful as a starting point for explorations of other cultures."

The Bookwatch, June 2008
Midwest Book Review

The proverbs required more explanation than the students were able to understand from the explanations given by the author.

Dr Georges Boujakly
Counseling, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
January 26, 2011

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