Afgani Proverb: “Be Content with Such Things as You Have.”

Matzah_Onions1During my ongoing research into the Central Asian Jewish community I came across this
supposedly well-known Afghani proverb mentioned in several sites:

If there is only bread and onions,
still have a happy face.

The meaning?:
“Be content with such things
as you have.”

This made me think about the Jews during the Exodus from Egypt, as well as those who have had to leave their homes during various persecutions throughout the world over time. If one were to substitute “bread” for matzah, it would make just as much sense, if not more:

If there is only matzah and onions, still have a happy face.
The meaning?:
“Make the most of what you have when you have it —
(especially during Pesach!)”

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2 thoughts on “Afgani Proverb: “Be Content with Such Things as You Have.”

  1. kosherlikeme July 1, 2013 at 6:09 am Reply

    We live in such an era of abundance and freedom. If we pause to appreciate what we have, life is always sweeter. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Marcia Weinstein July 1, 2013 at 7:03 am Reply

    In the seminar that I teach, PSY544 Happiness and Affective Forecasting, we discuss the question: Is happiness having what you want, or wanting what you have? Your proverb suggests that the answer is to want what you have. Actually, the limited psychology research on this philosophical question suggests that both options apply.

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