Beninese Proverbs

Sayings of Beninese Origin

Silence is an attribute of the dead; he who is alive speaks.

Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor.

Work is the medicine for poverty.

The world is a journey, the afterworld is home.

A great affair covers up a small matter.

Anyone who plants a tree before they die has not lived in vain.

Before you ask a man for clothes, look at the clothes that he is wearing.

Blacksmiths and woodworkers will never suffer from poverty.

Everyone has his place: the dead in the cemetery and the living at the table.

Fear a silent man. He has lips like a drum.

Many words do not fill a basket.

The misfortune that comes into town does not wear a turban.

The tortoise is friends with the snail: those with shells keep their shells close together.

The young cannot teach tradition to the old.

There is no god like one’s stomach; we must sacrifice to it every day.

We can only speak the truth when we turn off the light.

What you give you get, ten times over.

When the mouse laughs at the car, there is a hole nearby.

Who throws stones at night, kills his own brother.

Words are like spears: Once they leave your lips they can never come back.

The Republic of Benin

Beninese Proverbs

Benin,  is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, by Nigeria to the east and by Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. A majority of the population live on its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

Porto-Novo is the official capital of the West African nation of Benin, and was the capital of French Dahomey. The commune covers an area of 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and as of 2002 had a population of 223,552 people.

The seat of government is in Cotonou, the country’s largest city and economic capital.

The capital’s name Porto-Novo is of Portuguese origin, meaning “New Port”. It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade, an important part of many European Empires at the time including the Portuguese Empire.

Benin covers an area of approximately 115,000 square kilometers (42,000 sq mi), with a population of approximately 9.98 million. Benin is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with substantial employment and income arising from subsistence farming. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fon and Yoruba are commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by Islam, Vodun and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.

The national anthem of Benin is: The Dawn of a New Day (L’Aube Nouvelle)

Beninese National Anthem ( English Lyrics):

Formerly, at her call, our ancestors
Knew how to engage in mighty battles
With strength, courage, ardour, and full of joy, but at the price of blood.
Builders of present, you too, join forces
Each day for the task stronger in unity.
Build without ceasing for posterity.

Children of Benin, arise!
The resounding cry of freedom
Is heard at the first light of dawn,
Children of Benin, arise!
When all around there blows a wind of anger and hate:
Citizen of Benin be proud, and in a calm spirit
Trusting in the future, behold your flag!
In the green you read hope of spring;
The red signifies the courage of your ancestors;
The yellow foretells the greatest treasures.

Beloved Benin, your sunny mountains, palm trees, and green pastures
Show everywhere your brightness;
Your soil offers everyone the richest fruits.
Benin, from henceforth your sons are united
With one brotherly spirit sharing the hope of seeing you
Enjoy abundance and happiness forever.

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