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Proverbs from Nepal

Updated on November 2, 2012

Nepal is a small landlocked country in South Asia. It is situated between India and China. The Himalayan range in the northern part of Nepal contains some of the highest peaks in the world including Mt. Everest (8848m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu(8481m), Cho Oyo (8201m), Dhaulagiri (8167m) , Annapurna (8091m) and many more.

Here are some Nepalese proverbs. The text in bold are the literal translation of the proverb so I included some lines to help better understand the proverbs.

  • Khane mukhlai junggale chhekdaina. An eatng mouth is not stopped by the mustache. This proverb is used to say that anything can be accomplished if you are determined. The english equivalent of thes would be "Where there is a will, ther is a way."
  • Indrako agadi swargako bayan. Explaining heaven to the King of Gods. This proverb is used in a scenario where a person tries to give advice on certain field to the person who is an expert in that field; a person giving tips on healthy food habits to a nutritionist.
  • Nachna najjanne aagon tedho. Unable to dance because the stage is crooked. This proverb is used when a person does not acknowledge his incompetence and makes excuses; person who cannot dance complains that the stage was crooked.
  • Aalu khayera pedako dhhakh lagaunu. Eating potato but boasting to be eating sweets. This proverb is used when a person boasts about something that is not true. For example, a person boasts that he climbed Mt. Everest when he used a helicopter to get to the top.
  • Jun goruko singh chhaina tyesko nam tikhe. The bull without horns is called Sharpy. This proverb is used when a person's name is completely different than his character, behavior or action. For example, a con artist whose name is Mr. Truth.
  • Dhhungga khojda deuta milnu. To find god while searching for a stone. This proverb is used to describe unexpected luck. For example, getting a car as a gift when you were expecting a gift card.
  • Hune biruyako chillo pat. The sapling that will, has slippery leaves. This proverb is used to say that a person who is successful was talented from an early age or a gifted child is destined to be successful.
  • Pap dhuribata karaucha. Sin cries from afar. This proverb is used to say that any wrong doing will be exposed even if it takes a lot of time.
  • Parishramko fal mitho huncha. Hardwork's reward is good. A common proverb in many cultures.
  • Kam garne kalu makai khane bhalu. Work done by Kalu but corn eaten by bear. The story is that there is a guy named Kalu. (Kalu rhymes with bhalu. Bhalu means bear.) He farms corn and does all the work but at the end his corn is destroyed by a bear. This proverb is used to say that the reward of your hardwork is given to someone else.
  • Hattiko mukhma jira. Cumin in elephant's mouth. This proverb is used to describe the situation when very small amount of food is present or given when you are very hungry.
  • Badarko hatma nariwal. Coconut in the hands of a monkey. It is used to describe how valuable gadgets or things end up in incompetent or irresponsible hands. Like, if you bought a new game boy for your small brother but he broke it within a week.
  • Mukhma ram ram bakalima chhura. God's name in mouth but knife in pocket. Ram is the name of a hindu god. This proverb is used to say that a person is good only in appearance and in front of you but is bad or will hurt you in some way when not looking. Like, a person is always being friendly and nice with you but is spreading untrue rumors about you behind your back.
  • Aakashko fal aakha tari mar. Die by staring at the fruit of the sky. It is used to say that a person is thinking of an impossible cause. Or a person is trying to get a result he can't. For example, X thinks he can lift 10 ton of weight if he trains hard enough.
  • Mero goruko barrai takka. My ox is 12 rupees. The literal translation could be wrong because I don't know what "takka" actually means. I know its related to coin or money. This proverb is used to describe stubborness. For example, a person says that his ox is exactly 12 rupees, not a paisa higher or lower. (Rupees is the currency of Nepal. 100 paisa = 1 rupee)


Submit a Comment

  • Tolovaj profile image

    Tolovaj 4 years ago

    I like them all, but coconut in the hands of a monkey gives me the most clear picture to use it right now in several situations ... It's always interesting to see how small are actually differences among proverbs around the world. Thumbs up!

  • shrestha monsoon profile image

    shrestha monsoon 5 years ago

    Yes it is certainly is amazing that sayings from all around the world are very similar.

  • Dbro profile image

    Dbro 5 years ago from Texas, USA

    These are very interesting sayings, shrestha! I love "words of wisdom" or proverbs from every culture in the world. It's amazing how these sayings have a lot in common with others around the world. It just shows that true wisdom knows no boundaries. Thank you for sharing your insight with us!

  • rkane3 profile image

    Richard Kane 5 years ago from Oakland CA

    I really like, Unable to dance because the stage is crooked and

    To find god while searching for a stone.

    Thank you for sharing

  • profile image

    carozy 5 years ago

    Interesting sayings. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.


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