(Download) Special Material For Punjab PSC Pre Exam, 2012 [Punjabi Proverbs (Akhans)]

Punjab Public Service Commission

Special Material For Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) Pre Exam, 2012

Topic : Punjabi Proverbs (Akhans)

Punjabi proverbs form a part of Punjabi folk-literature. They contain the essence of the experience of life as well as the unchanging truths. Brevity, orality and compactness are some other characteristics of proverbs. Punjabi proverbs are of many kinds and their social and cultural importance can not be ignored Here is a detailed discussion on Punjabi proverbs. De nitions Various scholars have de ned proverbs in their own respective
ways. In the words of Raymond Firth, "A proverb is a terse didactic statement that is current in tradition. It ordinarily suggests a course of action or passes a judgement on a situation." Another scholar Danis Saurat
says, "The proverbs are crystallized forms of human experience."

Punjabi dictionary de nes proverb as a compact collegial sentence which conveys in brief and popular dialect some profound experience. According to Dr. Vanjara Bedi, 'The proverbs are compact and rhythmic sentences spoken in peoples own dialect which convey some truth of human life."

Dr. Kamail Singh Thind has also dened proverb as- that form of folk-literature which expresses the crystallised experience of human life in a brief but suitable manner. From Historical Perspective-like Bujharats, the history of proverbs is also as old as Vcdas. But the proof of their existence is available from Punjabi literature as old as it is available. For example, the Shalokas of Sheikh Farid written in pre-Mughal period do not hint at any proverbs; rather some of his Shalokas have turned into proverbs.

  • Kandhi Uttc Rukhra, Kichrak Bannhe Dhir Farida Kache Bhande Rakhiye, Kichr Tain Ncer

  • Chal Chal Gaiya Pankhian Jinni Vasaye 'Tal Farida Sara Bharia VI Chalsi, Thakke Kr val Ikkal.

Such examples arc available in the writings of Bhagats and Nath Jogis.

Mughal Period

The history of the literature of Mughal period reveals that the proverbs were  edy used in the language of these days. The Gurus' own lines have become proverbial e.g.

Satia Eh Na Aakhian, Jo Maria I ag J alarm Nanak Satian Janian, Ji Birha Chot Marann' (Guru Amar Dass Suhi's Vat) and

Tera Kiya Mcetha Laagc Hari Naam Padarath Nanak Maangc. (Guru Arjun Dev)

Double-line Dudh Sambhc Gujri Bed Dhan Sambhc Khatri Ben Jo Sukh Chhajju De Chubare Na Oh Balkh Na Bukhare.

Four-line Vekho Bharuey Di Akal Gai Majh Vech Ke Ghori Iai Dudh Peeno Gya Iidd Chakkni Pai.

Seven-Iine:Chet Visakh Shaven Jeth Haad Saven Saon Bhadoti Nhave Assu Kattak Thoda Khave Maghar Poh Roon Handhave Magh Phaggan Tel Malave.

Te Vaid Hakim Kadi Na Jave. Punjabi Proverbs are Powerful- Like Punjabis, the Punjabi proverbs are also powerful. They  have full energy. The re ect very well Punjabi life and culture. A majority of Punjabis are engaged in agriculture. That is how it is said - Dabb Ke Vah. Rajj Ke Kha (Plough well, eat well).

Social and Cultural Importance of Punjabi Proverbs

Like other languages, the proverbs of Punjabi also represent the culture and society of Punjab. They stand witness to our social and cultural history. Here we are discussing the importance of Punjabi proverbs with regard to the culture and society of punjab.

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Punjab and Punjabi Language

Describing the geographical conditions of old Punjab Dr. Vanjara Bedi writes that in the North of Punjab lie the snow-clad hills of Himalayas which sprawled from Jamuna in  the east to Atak in the West at some time and was named Sapt Sindhu by the Aryans. There after this province shrank to ve rivers and came to be known as Punjab and its language was called Punjabi. Punjab remained under constant spate of invasions and Punjabis
had to resist every invader. Many proverbs arc famous about Punjab and Punjabi.

  • Punjab: Punjab vich Jammda Suab.

  • Land of Punjab: Punjab Di Vahi Te Dudh  Di Malai Sada Lahewandi.

People of Punjab

Punjabi Na Pid Chhadde, Na Hatth Adde. Punjab De Jammean Nu Nit Muhimman. Punjabian Di Rehni Patshahan Wali. Dhann Punjabi Ma wan De Jaye Jihnan Vadde Kot Nivaye.

There are some other such  nes also in Guru Granth Sahib e.g. Dukh Daru Sukh  Rog Bhya, Rotian Karan Pooreh la at, Nivei so Gaura Hoi, Mayadhari Annha Bola etc.

In Su Poetry

Su Poetry has also made good use of proverbs and many lines of their poetry have also turned proverbial.

(a) Ik Din Tainu Supna Theesan Ga an Babal Walian Vo.

(b) Je Tudh Apna Aap Pachhata Sahib Nu Milan Asan Bande. (Both by Shah Hussain)

(c) Maati Bagh Bagicha Maati Maati Di Gulzar.

Many other such like examples can be quoted from the history of the Post-Mughal period literature.

Ranjit Singh's period and British Rule- The literature of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's period can also be called invaluably rich in the treasure of proverbs. Main Poets of this period arc Has ham Kadar Yaar, Shah Mohammad etc Here are some examples of those proverbs.

  1. Koonjan Nazar Aaian Bajan Bhukhyan  Nu

  2. Wang Nimbuan Lahu Nichor Ditta (Both by Shah Mohammad)

  3. Hasham Maut Pave Carvana, Tukham Jahino Jande

  4. Gul Te Khar Paidaish & se, lk Bagh Chaman De Dowen.

In the literature written during the British rule particularly in Su poetry, Kissa Poetry, Prose proverbs have been used generously.

Modem Period

In modem age also the Journey of proverbs goes on uninterrupted and in many books and other material an attempt has been made to preserve them. Now we shall discuss their composition.


There can be no general hard and fast rule regarding the composition of proverbs. Different proverbs have different formations. Dr. Kamail Singh Thind has shown the composition of proverbs ranging from two
words to ten lines as under:

Two-word Vahi Patshahi

Three-word Mawan Thandian Chhawan Jorian Jag Thorian Kheti Khasman seti Four-word Auratan Ghar Dian Daulatan Jcha Des Teha Ves Agga Daud Pichha Chaud
Single-line Akkhon Annhi Naon Noorbhaii Kaun Kahe Rani Agga Dhak

(d) Places of Punjab Lahore Da Garda Pishaur Da Zarda. Aaega Nadaun, Jaega Kaun. Chambe Di Hakk (Paddy), Guler Di Fakk (Husk) Nurpur Di Gapp. Amritsar Siphi da Ghar.


Like in other parts of the country, Punjabi society was also divided into different castes, which had their own respective natures and characters. This aspect is visible in many Punjabi proverbs:

1. Jatt: A large number of Punjabi proverbs are available on Jatts, and they highlight many characteristics of this community.

  • Jatt's High-handednes Jatt Pilaye Lassi, Gal Vich Pa Lae Rassi. Jatt Jattan De Saale, Viche Karde Ghale Male.

  • Surfeited Jatt: 1. Chitta Kappra, Kukkar Khana Us Jatt Da Nahin Tikana.

2. Jatt Jatt Da Rehnda kama, Bhukha Mare Tan Kare Salaman.

  • Famished Jatt: Bhukhe Jatt Katora Labhya Pani Pee Pee Aaphrya.

  • Caref eeness ofJatt Jatt Yamla, Khuda Nu Lai Gaye chor.

  •  Jatt's Naivety: Jatt Ganna Na Deve, Gur di Bheli Deve.

2. Bania: In Punjab Banias have been trading or shopkeeping till today. That is why Bania is known as clever community. But they spend lavishly on occasions like marriage.

  • Vanaj Karende Baniye, Hor Karende Rees

  • Baniye Di Kamai, Vijah Jan Zamccn Ne Khai

3. Khatri: In Punjab Khatris have been doing the business of usury or shopkeeping in Karyana wares. In Punjabi proverbs they have been portrayed as weak and cheats. Char Chor Te Chare Thug Char Suniar,
Chare Thathiar Char Chauke Solan, Solan Duni Batri Ik Mara Jeha Khatri.

4. Kariar: In West Punjab, both Hindus and Muslims engaged in trade are called Kariars. Here are some proverbs about Kariars:

  • Khao Brahman Nat, Pandh Pao Kariar Nat

  • Kan, Kariar, Kutte Da, Vlsah Na Kariye Sutte Da

  • Ik Khurpe Wall Rani Sahwen Nau Kriar Di Dhar Bhali

Domestic/Family Life

According to Dr. Swaran Singh, popular convictions and beliefs in Social Life may not come true on the criterions of principles  or logic, but they are important due to their traditional values. Many folk proverbs re ect our domestic life. As per Dr. Bedi, these proverbs include the importance of home, mutual husband-wife relations, dominance of man over woman, inef ciency of a clumsy woman, disputes between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law and a satirical mention of women's dealings with their parents and parents -in-law. Here are some examples.


(a) Apne Ghar Har Koi Badshah Ae

(b) Ghar Teewian De, Nan Mardan De. Man- Woman -

(a) Mard Di Maya, Birchh Di Chhaya.

(b) Mard Mitti Da Vi Maan Nahin.

(c) Janani Mange Pede Ohnu Den Wale Bathere Mard Mange Ata, Ohnu Aate Da Vi Ghata.

(d) Dil Sunder Ghori, Muchh Sunder Mard Roop Sunder Gori, Sing Sunder Majjh. Nature of Woman

(a) Gall in Pai Te Vassnon Rahi

(b) Rann Gai Syape, Ghaf Aave Tan Jaape. Hard Work

Hard work is the routine of Punjabi Life.

Dr. Vanjara Bedi says that Punjabis are very industrious people. They are not idlers. Many proverbs are popular about this aspect of their personality.

Dignity of Labour

  • Chorion Mehna, Yaarion Mehna Mehnaton Ki Mehna

  • Kamm Pyara Ke Chamm ?

Fruit of Labour

  • Kar Mazdoori, Kha Ghoori.

  • Dabb Ke Vah, Rajj Ke Kha. Job


  • Naukari Ki Te Nakhra Ki.

  • Sipahi Di Rann

Na Vidhwa Na Suhagan.

Loyalty in Job: Jis Da Loon Khaiye, Tis De Gun Gaiye.


Punjabi life lays sufcient stress on fate. Punjabis are of the view that one has to face to consequences of some earlier lives' misdeeds in this life. Our ideology of fatalism is nicely woven in our proverbs:

  • Honi Hoi Amitt, Bhawen Ro Te Bhawen Pitt.

  • Vah Karman Deya Balia, Ridhi Kheer Te Ban Gaya Daha.

  • Maaye Puttar Janendiye, Karara Na Deniye Vand, Ik Pae Charhende Ghoriye, Ik Tukde Khande Mang.

  • Eh Dekho Kismat De Khel Parhe Farsi Veche Tel.

Superstitions-Superstitions are a part of the cultural life of a society. In folk-mind, love turns into fear or superstitions. Like other communities Punjabis, too, have their own superstitions. Here are some examples

1 About Stars: Bodi Wala Tara Ja Charhe Tan Hoi Ujada.

2. About days:

  • Aitvar Na Langhna Para Mate Jittan Aave Haar.

  • Budh Sanichar Kappda, Gehna Aitvar.

3. About Birds/animals: Dine Na Bole Gidri Raat Na Bole Kan, Ik Tan Raja Mahiye, Ik Tan Ujde Giran.

4. About Handicapped: Annha Kana Tepra, Bakhsh Lain Parmeshra. Social-Graps-Folk-literature also depicts the economic set up of a society. The socioeconomic gaps can be gauged from the folk proverbs-
Kithe Raja Bhoj, Kithe Gangu Teli. Social Evils -Although in miniscule form, our social evils are also indicated in our proverbs:

  • Posta Dil Dosta, Tera Mudhon Putawan Boota Vasde Ghar Ujar Ke Hatth Pharauna Ae Thootha.

  • Pio Bhangan to sovo Baghin, Pichhle Jeewan Apne Bhagin.  Conclusion

In nutshell it can be said that like other forms of folk-literature, Punjabi proverbs also re ect the socio-cultural picture of a society. This is a very important role of the folk-proverbs which cannot be ignored.

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