Kazakh Proverbs about Death

I need some help by a native speaker of Kazakh to help explain the following proverb, the other Kazakh proverbs are much easier to figure out.

“The soul with a throat (i.e. the living person) – one death. (for the living person death is a sure thing)

It is easier for a person to give up his soul than to rid himself of a bad name.

“The man faces death, but not insult.”

The following proverb could be an expression that was oft repeated before the Great Patriotic War. Many Kazakh and other Central Asian men sacrificed their lives for the Soviet cause of fighting the Nazis. However, after a while, there were no men left to fight.

“Man’s heroic death increases brave men.”

Maybe related to that is this proverb: “The male lamb – a sacrifice.” (translated from “Erkek toqti – qurbandiq”) Many men’s lives were sacrificed in the second world war to supposedly end all wars.

“You may lose your life, but don’t lose your beloved wife.”

I love this last one above, it shows that Kazakh men honored their women folk by being ready to die for them. A wife who is beloved and cherished will most certainly be praying and waiting for her husband to return from the hunt or war or whatever danger he might engage in.

The Kazakhs are said to be very brave, especially those who are from the countryside. In the old days, before Soviet industrialization, they had to fight off wolves, leopards and other predatory animals in order to protect their livestock.

One last Kazakh proverb which was categorized by my friend Erik under Death (Olim) was this:  “Cattle — the sacrifice of life; soul–the sacrifice of honor.”

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