"" What's She Eating Now?: Romanian Proverbs

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Romanian Proverbs

As those who read this blog regularly know, Dan is Romanian. Over the years I have tried to acquaint myself with what this means from a cultural perspective. While I am still working on acquiring a taste for much of the cuisine, I have long been a fan of their sayings. In fact, if a nation could export sayings for profit, Romania would be oil-country rich. My personal favorite adage: "A camel is a horse designed by committee." Perhaps a good one to keep in mind as we work through our health care situation.

And when it comes to food, Romanians have so many proverbs it is a wonder they have not taken to scrawling them on tiny pieces of paper to place inside of cookies. The one which possibly best describes their culinary philosophy is, "the best vegetable is the chicken meat and the best chicken meat is the pork." Another which helps paint a picture of what you might expect to find on a Romanian menu: "We eat everything with four legs that's not a table, and everything with two wings that's not an airplane."

But what is food without wine? This saying couldn't have been put better by Bacchus himself: "Every man is entitled to a glass of wine, after that glass of wine he becomes another man, who is entitled to a glass of wine." Supposedly first stated by a professor to explain the concept of summing an infinite series, I must say I may have gotten better grades in math had my math teachers been Romanian.

Romanians also have some practical advice on drinking such as, "If two people say you're drunk, go to bed." Many other of their sayings reflect their history like, "Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow," and still others betray their openness in calling out the intellectually unfortunate. I personally like, "Don't argue with a fool, he has a rested mind." Many of my conversations with Dan's dad are punctuated by these entertaining Romanian isms but the one he has held back from me for years is perhaps the most universally relevant, "Love is blind, marriage is the cure."

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