About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, April 28, 2011

the kashmiri cat and dog in proverbs

I've come across a Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs by the Rev. J. Hinton Knowles (Bombay: Education Society's Press, 1885). There I found our household friends used to illustrate all sorts of concerns in ways  very different from my everyday life. Have a look.
If the cat grew wings, the water-fowl could not live in the lakes. -- That is, when a cunning tyrannical fellow is checked from doing much harm by sickness, poverty, or some such.
I am not so angry at the cat eating the ghee, as I am at her shaking her tail. -- It was not the loss I minded so much as the man's rudeness and impenitence.
The cat's moon. -- That is, such excitement that I could not sleep or do anything; cats were said to get more and more excited as the moon waxed, till their shrieks kept up the neighborhood.
I would sing but the cat has eaten my ghee. -- Circumstances are so that a person is afraid to speak or to act for himself.
You only get manure from hitting a dog. -- What is the good of a policeman beating a poor man? He will not get a bribe.
A village tiger and a city dog are equal. -- A stupid man from the city is equal to the great man of the village. (Hmm!?)
He has not even a 'bishtah' for the cat, nor a 'durah' for the dog -- so good is he! -- That is, he would not hurt a worm. Bishtah and durah are sounds for driving away cats and dogs respectively.

6 comments:

Katnip Lounge said...

Fascinating...insight into how other cultures view animals. Where do you FIND this stuff?

Ann Dziemianowicz said...

Unusual! Never heard of any of these proverbs before.

curator said...

Hi Katnip Lounge - you ask how I find these things. I guess it's part of why I went into art history in the first place: the thought of all the ways people think and feel left behind, not just in art, but in writing and daily objects etc. Anyway, I just get a wild hare and I hit the Internet. This turned up on Google Books.

The Lee County Clowder said...

A village tiger and a city dog are equal

How sure are you of the explanation for that one? We would suspect something more along the lines of a 'big fish small pond' reference.

curator said...

Hi Lee Co. Clowder -- well, that's what the book gave as its meaning. Maybe an inaccurate translation.

Mansoor said...

Khamaan gur te khamith gunne (The horse is panting and load is pretending to be panting)

http://www.facebook.com/KashmiriProverbs