9 Nuggets of Wisdom – Caribbean Style
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday August 19, 2016 – The region is rich in accumulated wisdom, often expressed in charming, musical, poetic ways. Here are just a few from some of the islands:
- “New broom sweep clean, but owl broom noe dem cahna”
Translation: The new broom sweeps clean, but the old broom knows all the corners, i.e. while you’re chasing new things, don’t forget the values of the old.
- “Wanti wanti cyaan getti, an’ getti getti noh wanti”.
Translation: When you want something badly, you often can’t get it, but when you get it too easily you then don’t want it or appreciate it. In other words, be thankful for the blessings that come to you; many of the things we take for granted are luxuries to others.
- “Pit inna de sky, it fall inna yuh y’eye”.
Translation: If you spit into the sky, it falls into your eye. Or, what you do to others could eventually be the cause of your own downfall.
- “Mek sure betta dan cock sure”.
Translation: It is better to verify than to assume. Pithy, but still always good advice.
- “Crow does fly high, but when e come down, de ants does still eat out ‘e eye.”
Translation: When the mighty ones fall on hard times, they are disrespected by common folk.
- “Night does run til day ketch it.”
Translation: One day your sins will catch up with you; you won’t get away with them forever.
- “Better belly buss than good food waste.”
Translation: When food is good and plentiful, it’s better to stuff yourself rather than throw out perfectly good nourishment.
- “Cockroach have no right in fowl party.”
Translation: A person shouldn’t go where they are not wanted, especially if they’re not of a particular social class. You might not get eaten like the proverbial roach, but it won’t be pleasant.
- “Any time is Trini time.”
Translation: Actually, this could apply right across the Caribbean – just fill in your country – since we are notoriously bad time-keepers. It’s commonly used as an excuse by Trinis who are late to a party or to the office.
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