Supposedly there are known Proverbs Masters and they specialize in knowing Kazakh proverbs that have been handed down orally for generations. A book titled “1001 Proverbs” is meant for young Kazakh teens to grasp and know. The Kazakhs claim that you can only truly understand their proverbs if you know the Kazakh language in depth. Of course, that is true for any culture which has their own set of proverbs, some proverbs just do not adequately translate into English without knowing the cultural context.
The other night on the stage of the Kazakh language competition were about 15 teenagers honored for their knowledge of Kazakh proverbs and cultural traditions. They were given the title “Aminat” which means “entrusted with something that is precious.” They have the high responsibility of carrying on the rich traditions of Kazakh proverbs and traditions which is a “national treasure” and central to the Kazakh culture.
Tomorrow I will write not only about oral traditions and literacy but also about “post-literacy.” As ESL/EFL teachers nowadays, we are dealing with post-literacy while trying to stay the course with keeping up with computer literacy. Computer literacy is a whole ‘nother subject to write on later!!!