10 Dominican proverbs that embrace wisdom and culture #HispanicHeritageMonth - Embracing diversity (2023)

fables, metaphors,Proverbs, tenths. Those who know me will agree that they are all part of my conversational Spanish. Growing up with my grandmother, hearing Dominican proverbs was as natural as smelling fresh lemongrass tea from our patio in the morning. For those who don't speak Spanish, I'm talking about using fables, metaphors, sayings and popular Dominican poetrytenthto illustrate situations, reinforce an idea, or simply convey some wisdom.
Mom Amparowas a great source of Dominican proverbs, she wasn't the only one that nurtured my love forSayings. my mother and my otherOwnalso played a role. Also, my mother shares my love of folk wisdom and you can often hear her say some Dominican proverbs and if you encourage her at social gatherings she can bring tears to your eyestenthshe can recite.

I can't pinpoint what the popular sayings are, but it's very common for Dominicans to use these cultural snippets in our daily communications. Like everything else, Dominican sayings come and go with the times as they are linked to the culture and social codes shared by people in different eras. Like music, fashion, and even slang, these cultural expressions speak to the social norms and beliefs that people share at a given time.

For example, my mother knows old Dominican sayings thatSayings,etenthpassed on to her by my mother's husband, who was a much older man. The combination of both my grandmothers and my mother's knowledgeDominican Proverbsmade me oneKennerHow. I love that Dominican sayings and idioms make the language more alive and also bring our culture to life, identifying us even when we're not there; especially when we're far, far from home.

Having not lived in the Dominican Republic for almost 15 years, there are already many Dominican proverbs in formation that I have missed, and I know that many of the ones I know are probably dying. With that in mind, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to share a few of my favorites.Dominican Proverbs, because they help tell the story of my life, my family and my culture.In addition, I know that they have also become part of the life and cultural expression of many Dominicans in the diaspora.

"The grass that is for the donkey, no other donkey will eat."
—-“The grass that belongs to the donkey, no other donkey eats”.

This is one of my favorite Dominican proverbs because it contains great wisdom. It's a good way of looking at life and accepting that some things are meant to be; You do your part and if it doesn't work out, it wasn't for you. The equivalent of this saying is"What's for you will never miss you".

"If thatfomeeWarm, the sweet potato is aRefrigerator“.
—-“When hunger is like heat, sweet potatoes are like refreshment”.

Funny, this saying means when you're hungry, don't be picky, you eat anything. Helps well when the food is missing. As many Dominicans live in poverty, this is a way to comfort yourself and your children when there are no options and you must eat what is available.

"In the absence of bread cassava".
—-“If you have no bread, cassava”.

This proverb speaks to the ingenuity of the Dominicans, who learn early on that one can make do with whatever is available. You don't live without something, you work with what you have. The equivalent of this is "Be content with what is available".

"With patience and calm, a donkey climbs a palm tree."
—-"With patience and calm, a donkey can climb a palm tree".

I've heard my mother say this so many times, it's used to teach children patience when trying to achieve something. Good advice in a fun way that's great for little ones.

"In bad weather, good fellow".
—-"Show your best face in bad times".

I don't know if there is an English equivalent for this. What I do know is that the Dominicans are masters at meeting adversity with a smile on their face. Personally I am known for always smiling and if you visit the island you will see that even the poorest of the poor have a great attitude and a smiling face.

"Heal with Health."
—-“Heal yourself with health”.

It refers to preventing something. When you do something in advance, you try to avoid a possible bad outcome in a given situation. For example, when you take your tools on a trip because you know you have an old car. It's not like you know the car is going to break down, but you're prepared.

"The heart ofThey are sleeping, only thatknownIsmake
—-"The heart of the pumpkin is only known from the knife".

What this proverb means is that we never know about a person's true suffering. We can empathize, show empathy and feel with the person. However, how a person experiences difficulties or losses, we essentially do not know. I'm also not sure if there is an English equivalent for this.

„AlFingerbad, everythingcomÖpega“.
—-"Everything bad sticks to the injured finger".

While it may sound a bit cynical, I believe this is more rooted in superstition. Believing that a person is going through a bad streak and if something bad happened, that person will inevitably experience another bad outcome.

"He who cannot be played is Jondea".
—-“If you can’t jump, dive”.

Again, it's all about ingenuity, it's a play on words since 'tirarse', meaning 'to jump', and 'jondearse' mean almost the same thing.Jondereseis colloquial and means something like "jump hard". Although they mean pretty much the same thing, the meaning of this saying is that if you can't do something one way, you will find another way to do it. The closest equivalent is "If there is a will, there is a way".

"Whoever clings to a good tree, a good shade protects him."
—-"He who leans against a good tree gets good shade".

I love this one because it can be a guiding concept for our whole life. I love talking to my kids about how they learn to surround themselves with valued and trusted friends they can really lean on. It can also be interpreted as doing things right and being proud of a job well done that will reward us in many ways.

I would like to hear what is your favorite Latin proverb?


10 Dominican proverbs that embrace wisdom and culture #HispanicHeritageMonth - Embracing diversity (12)We are very happy about our seventhHispanic Heritage Month series! Until October 15th you will find great resources on thisShare Hispanic heritage with children, plus you can link to your own posts about Hispanic heritage!

Find even more ideas in ourLatin America Pinterest board:

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