Haiti is a land of great beauty and great suffering. It is one of the world’s poorest countries, yet rich in culture. One aspect of this rich culture is the use of proverbs. Each proverb gives us unique insight into the beliefs and culture of the people of Haiti. Enjoy a sampling of these proverbs and their meanings and a deeper look at the Haitian culture. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to enjoy weekly Haitian proverbs.
Achte, peye; prete, remèt. Men sa ki fè yon nonm.
Buy, pay; borrow, return. This is what makes a man.
Meaning: Characteristics of honesty.
Avan ou monte bwa, gade si ou ka desann li.
Before you climb a tree, look to see if you can climb down.
Meaning: Make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Bel dan pa di zanmi.
Beautiful teeth don’t say friend.
Meaning: A beautiful smile doesn’t equal a trustworthy friend.
Bitay fè ou vanse.
A stumble moves you forward.
Meaning: We learn from our mistakes. A mistake is better than doing nothing.
“Bonjou” se paspo ou.
“Good morning” is your passport.
Meaning: Politeness goes a long way.