The following Kazakh proverbs were found and have been documented by my Minnesota friend Erik, whom I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. He is doing his Ph.D. dissertation on this topic and more specifically on Kazakh proverbs having to do with shame and honor. The word for friendship in both Kazakh and Kyrgyz is “Dostyk.” That may explain why main streets or hotels in both Almaty and Bishkek go by that name. Both nationalities are friendly and welcoming people.
I like the following proverbs because they are easy to figure out. The others that Erik discovered, after learning the Kazakh language and living in Kazakh for over a decade, need a bit more explanation.
Gentleness is not smallness, but humanness.
The sign of humanity is to bow when greeting; the sign of true friendship is punctuality. (As a teacher, I LOVE this one about punctuality!!!)
The Road separates road-mates. (Perhaps this could be in reference to the Silk Road when friends must part)
When you go through hard times, the friend comes along side you.