CAMBODIAN PROVERBS Collected by MEY Sopheakdei, 2012 If you are shy with your teacher, you will never be wise. If you are shy with your wife, you will never have children. Don’t believe the sky; don’t believe the stars. Don’t believe your daughter when she says she has no lover. Don’t believe your mother when she says she has no debts. The rich should take care of the poor, like a skirt that wraps the body.
Don’t let an angry man wash dishes; don’t let a hungry man guard rice. If you are mean, be mean so that people respect you. If you are stupid, be stupid so that they pity you. If a tiger lies down, don’t say, “The tiger is showing respect.” If you have some tasty food, don’t keep it for tomorrow. If you suspect your wife of being beautiful, don’t let her walk behind you. Keeping you is not profitable for us; discarding you is no loss. The children of the poor become soldiers. The children of the rich become policemen. The children of the high cadre study in foreign countries.