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Site Last Update: 15 Dec, 2019
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Turina keessatt killen millaan adeemti.
By persevering the egg walks on legs.

Oromo (Ethiopia) Proverb


"Waiting inside the egg eventually by foot goes." (Literal English translation following the Oromo word order)
"By persevering the egg walks on legs." (Flowing English translation)
Patience enables one to succeed. (Meaning of the proverb)

The research on this proverb was part of a long-term goal to publish a book that harmonizes the four Gospels with Oromo proverbs. The book is called "The Ears Do Not Understand, Only the Mind Does" (1992) following what Jesus said: "Let anyone with ears to hear listen" (Luke 8:8). This book has over 2,100 Oromo proverbs aligned to Gospel verses. This Oromo proverb uses the example of the egg and the chicken to teach the value of patience and perseverance. Little by little the egg will go on its own, that is, it will hatch as a chick that walks on its own legs.

The corresponding biblical text is: "I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs" (Luke 11:8). Our work at the Galilee Oromo Research Center in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia is intended to help the Oromo people preserve and understand their cultural wisdom. Once I asked Roland Murphy, a scripture scholar, whether he thought that gathering proverbs was related to evangelization as traditionally understood. He answered "yes," explaining that it is another way of approaching God by his revelation through nature. I think that the proper study of humankind is God's plan for people as narrated in the Bible and in the ancient wisdom of proverbs.

Rev. George G. Cotter, M.M.
Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

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