Most Uyghurs live in their homeland of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.
Proverbs are used much more frequently in Uyghur speech than in American English. They are usually made up of two rhyming phrases which are quoted to help explain a point that the speaker is trying to make. Some of the well known proverbs are not in total agreement with politically correct modem thought but such statements still slip out when people are angry or very excited. It seems that in those instances the idea that is expressed has been concealed, but is often still present under the surface.
These are common proverbs among Xinjiang China Uyghurs.
My son’s child is my own child; my daughter’s child is someone else’s child.
This proverb shows the traditional idea that when a girl gets married she leaves her family and becomes part of her husband’s family.
A house with children is a bazaar (market), a house without children is a mazar (tomb).
This saying expresses the value placed on children and the joy they bring to a family.
Food that is shared goes to the body; food that is eaten alone is spilled out on the ground.
In social relationships people should not be selfish or stingy. Rather they should be generous and willing to share with others.
Without any news from the carrots, the rice was cooked and eaten.
This saying refers to a local dish made by frying carrots and then adding rice and making a pilaf-type dish. The meaning is to get ahead of oneself and do things out of order, especially in love and everyday life. The saying expresses the idea that someone is doing something without taking everything into consideration. For example, when a boy and girl have just barely met and before they really know each other they begin to talk about what it will be like when they are married and how they will decorate their house.
The person who has worked has a bright face; the person who doesn’t work has a face like a thick leather boot.
A good worker is liked by everyone and has no reason to be ashamed of himself. The person who is lazy will be ashamed and disliked by everyone.
Guests should be gentler than a lamb.
When a person is a guest at another person’s house, they should be well behaved and obey all the mules of etiquette. The guest should be satisfied with the work the host does to serve them and should seek to preserve their own honor.
Half the nights of the month are dark; half the nights of the month are light.
Everything in life has a good and a bad side. The good you have done to others will eventually come back to you. Bad situations can change to good situations.
He threw his coat in the fire because he was angry about the flea that was on it.
He made a big deal out of nothing and caused harm to a big thing over a small problem.
Cut yourself with the knife first. Then, if it doesn’t hurt, cut the other person.
Before doing something, you should think about an issue from every angle, allow others to have input and don’t force others to do something you yourself have found to be wrong.
Live according to your situation; grind flour according to your pocketbook.
Every person should live within their means.
Stretch your legs according to the length of your blanket.
Live within your financial means.
Water may stop flowing, but enemies never sleep.
People should always be sensitive and alert to keep an eye out for other people who have bad motives and like to plot evil.
Women have long hair and short intelligence.
Some women are not very clever. Not so politically correct anymore.
One end of money is in the arm, the other is in the heart.
Because money can solve everything, in life it is necessary to have money. The love of money is stronger than anything, but money can only be gotten by hard work.
The water flows away and the rocks stay behind; eyebrow liner fades and the eyebrows remain.
Everything in this world is temporary and will one day disappear. People should not be too proud of the things they own or the things they have accomplished.
If something overflows from your arms it will probably fall on your shoe.
Anytime someone has more than they need of something they shouldn’t be stingy. They should share with their relatives and those near to them.
As long as a person is not a pilgrim they are not a Muslim.
As long as a person has not been separated from their hometown and suffered a little bit of hardship they will not understand individual existence and true human character.
Where there is money there is even soup in the desert.
Money can solve every problem and make something that did not exist so that it exists.
If you touch a pot with soot on it the black color will rub off on you; if you get involved in bad things the slander will rub off on you.
You should think seriously before you get involved with people who plot to harm others.
If you pierce your eyelids you’ll pierce your eye; if you harm others you’ll harm yourself.
No one returns good for evil. If you plot bad things against other people, someday it will backfire and harm you.
You can’t wash blood with blood.
A generous person does not respond to bad deeds by returning the same sort of bad deed, instead he finds a good way to resolve the bad feelings.
Better to endure the anger (of the borrower) from not lending than to endure the anger (of the borrower) from going (repeatedly) to ask for it back.
It is better not to loan things to people who will not give them back than to loan the thing and then have to repeatedly ask for it to be given back.
The stingy person would rather part with their life than their things.
Greedy, stingy people think money and things are more important than anything and often make rash decisions because of this wrong idea.
Even if your house is small let your heart be large.
Even if a person’s individual living situation is poor they should still be a generous host.
The heart can only be satisfied by another heart.
Two people who really understand each other and whose hearts are connected can be a help to each other in every kind of situation.
The thing that causes you indigestion is not food; a person that causes you heartache is not a friend.
No matter how expensive a certain food may be if it causes you indigestion you can’t say it was good food. If a person acts selfishly and breaks other people’s hearts, they are not worthy to be a friend.
Rather than be a sultan to others, be a shoe sole in your home town.
Every person’s hometown is the place that is most dear to their heart.
The one who eats the meat and the one who drinks the broth are both thieves.
Whether a person directly harms others or simply hides other people’s wrong actions, they are both guilty of doing wrong.
The one that asked learned; the one that only wondered got left behind.
People who ask a lot of questions will learn many things. People who are shy or just refuse to ask questions will be left behind and won’t learn.
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