Folk Beliefs

Saying – Chinese


The subject acknowledged that she was aware of a variant of a piece of folklore I has collected earlier: “If you put the fingers on one hand together and there are gaps in between your fingers then you will be poor.” This is different from another piece of folklore that makes the conclusion that the person is greedy. The main difference being that one is greedy and one will be poor.

So in a sense, looking at the same saying, the subject argued that the man is actually poor because he can’t ever keep what he has in his hands. The second subject (she) offered this explanation: “If someone always spends what they have in their hands then they will have nothing in the end.” The subject stated that she too learned this saying from her parents and that she had never heard of the variant of the saying.

My conclusion is that the two viewpoint on the (essentially same) proverb can be melded into one by saying that someone with gaps between their fingers will be a greedy poor man.

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