International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Symbol of Animals in Malay Proverbs
Wan Norasikin Wan Ismail, Abdul Latif Samian, Nazri Muslim

Proverb is an important component in the traditional Malay poetry which shapes Malay courtesy and values that have become part of their everyday lives. Malay proverbs stem from the Malay minds which are adequately sensitive to the surroundings, including the flora and fauna. This explains why animal antics and behavior are interpreted in proverbs comparatively with human attitude. Animal-related proverbs can be found in almost all cultures. The Malay’s life experiences with these animals have given a broad scope of knowledge on the habit and behavior of the animals. This is why human attitude and behavior are inseparable from those of the animals. Thus, these animals are depicted with various symbols representing their physical characteristics and behavior signified figuratively and compared with those of human. This paper will discuss the symbol of animals in Malay proverbs.

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