Old Finnish proverbs

About proverbs

17.3.2020 09:59
Proverbs reflect their time and live in time.

My purpose was to discuss old Finnish proverbs with the participants in my word art and book advice sessions this week and next week. Think about what they mean and what interpretations can be made of them. Unfortunately, it's not possible now, so I'm sharing the word art session I planned here on my blog.

Various, no matter how old and mostly originating from agrarian society, Proverbs are still in daily use in our modern urban world. The pot rings the kettle every day, the beer is in the pivo and it's ten o'clock no matter how often and no matter how drunk you are, it's still clearly not worth it.

Proverbs may be funny, but they are not jokes. There is always a thought behind them, they are statements. The best thing is that more proverbs are being created all the time. They live in time. Mostly they are updates of already existing Proverbs, but brand new ones are also created. It didn't go as well as in Strömsö, if you are in a hurry or if you do it on the computer, you draw them with chalk. Proverbs reflect their time, they include the present tense of their own time.

Below are a few examples of proverbs and my own interpretations of them. All Proverbs come from the book Proverbs (Proceedings of the Finnish Literature Society 346, 1978).

Perch Lovely soup fish, roach is better when cooked.
Each of us has our own good qualities that come out in different situations.

The dog's honor, which is the shame of others.
An evildoer, for example a thief, gains respect in his own ranks for what is shame in the eyes of others.

When a sparrow gets into a barley head, a crow grows out of it.
A person's behavior becomes more insolent if he gets even a little power.

It's a bit like a sparrow chirping with a hawk's mouth.
Someone in deep trouble tries to cover up their problems by acting as if nothing happened.

When the pig sees Aira's gap, I guess so that it is always there.
If someone does something bad once, others think he will always do something bad.

The pig can't eat uneaten grain, the frost is late.
Things have to be done on time, otherwise things will go wrong.

There are good places in that ram's head.
Even the most difficult person has good sides, even if you don't believe it.

It's a herd of books, a bunch of people.
It can accommodate all kinds of people, and that's a good thing.

A bear is a bear's paws.
That's how the children are, as well as the parents.

Since the speech art session is meant to be participatory, you can send your own interpretations of the above-mentioned proverbs either to my e-mail address below or comment on them on Sanarkist's Twitter or on the Facebook wall of the Imatra City Library, where I will link this article.

mika. kahkonenatimatra.fi (mika[dot]kahkonen[at]imatra[dot]fi)
Tel: 020 617 6602