Blog Feed

Ai bảo xôi ừ xôi, ai bảo thịt ừ thịt.

Someone says stick rice he agrees to sticky rice, someone says meat he agrees to meat.

This is describing a person who only knows to follow and does not have his own opinions. This is a variant of “Quan tám cũng ừ, quan tư cũng gật / Eighth rank official seconds, fourth rank official nods,” describing how lower rank officials in the imperial court would second the opinions of the higher rank officials. This is equivalent to describing “yes man” or “sheep.”

Ác tăng đội lốt thầy tu, Thấy cô gái đẹp bỏ chùa đi theo.

Corrupt monk disguised as [religious] monk, Seeing beautiful girl and abandoning the temple to follow.

The meaning is criticizing a phony. Monks are supposed to leave behind their earthly desires. This is similar to “Wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “Devil in disguise.”

Dù ai đi ngược về xuôi Nhớ ngày Giỗ Tổ mồng mười tháng ba Khắp miền truyền mãi câu ca Nước non vẫn nước non nhà ngàn năm

No matter who goes back and forth, Remember the death anniversary on the tenth of the third month, Throughout all regions the song is forever sung, Youthful country still youthful country thousand years house.

The meaning is to remind Vietnamese people, wherever we are, to remember our ancestors Hùng Kings (Hùng Vương) and our country has thousands of years to come. It commemorates the death anniversary of the Hùng Kings on the tenth day of the third lunar month. The Hùng Kings are considered as the founders of Vietnamese civilization, establishing the kingdom of Văn Lang – the first nation of the Vietnamese people. The Hùng King Temple is located in Việt Trì City, Phú Thọ Province.

Chuồn chuồn bay thấp thì mưa, bay cao thì nắng, bay vừa thì râm.

Dragonflies flying low then rain, flying high then sun, flying normal then shade.

The meaning is when dragonflies fly low rain follows, flying high sunshine follows, and flying normal shade follows. Other variants include “Dragonflies flying low rain floods the ponds, dragonflies flying high rain shower ceases / Chuồn chuồn bay thấp mưa ngập bờ ao, chuồn chuồn bay cao mưa rào lại tạnh” or “Dragonflies flying low rain is coming, flying to the horizons the sun shines brightly / Chuồn chuồn bay thấp mưa sắp tới nơi, bay bổng chân trời thì nắng chang chang.” This is equivalent to “Cows lie down when it is about to rain,” “Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning,” or “Red skies at night sailors delight, red skies in the morning sailors take warning.”