folk simile
Folk speech
Proverbs

Dhoop Chaun

“Dhoop Chaun.”

Dhoop Chaun is a phrase that literally translates to “sun shade.” My father said, “My grandfather used to say, ‘Dhoop chaun’ and it means ‘sun shade’ and represents light and dark and ups and downs in your life. It’s like sometimes it’s up ands sometimes it’s down, there are challenges, opportunities, there’s joyfulness, sadness, life is a mixed bag. My Nana Gi told me that.”

Nana Gi in Punjabi is your maternal grandfather, so my father’s mother’s father used to tell my dad this phrase when he was very young. He was trying to instill in my dad from a young age that life is not all happiness and sadness, it’s not just black and white. I think it’s a really great phrase that definitely has other translations or meanings in different countries, because I’ve heard variations of this phrase, like “No mud, no lotus.” It represents the same thing, that life is both the sadness and joy, but the good and the bad, and that the two must exist in harmony together.

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