I am a Việt Kiều, who was born in Thủ Đức, Sài Gòn, Việt Nam but immigrated to Chicago, Illinois, United States at the age of 4. I returned to Vietnam in 2015 and started to learn the Vietnamese language and culture. I hope to share what I have learned in the motherland with you, starting with idioms, proverbs, and folk poems (thành ngữ, tục ngữ, ca dao) and their translations/explanations. Please enjoy!
Who robs bird rice. The meaning is to criticize whoever robs from little children (bird rice are clumps of rice prepared for children to eat).
Short dress, shaking it does not make it long. The meaning is some broken things cannot be fixed.
Long dress, do not be afraid of thin pants. The meaning is even if there are shortcomings (i.e., thin pants), there is something to hide them behind (i.e., long dress).
Brothers are like spikes and dagger-axes. The meaning is brothers and sisters are like traps and weapons (i.e., be wary).
Rice brothers, money morality. The meaning is that money is important in social relationships. Rice brothers are friends and associates with whom you hang out (i.e., eat rice with).
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