Residence: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/23/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s): English
Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani
Informant: MK was born in New York, but raised in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is a senior in high school. He has an older brother, and a younger sister. While growing up our grandparents would teach us valuable life lessons and most of the time they would use a proverb in doing so. Proverbs are a huge part of our family’s culture.
My informant heard this proverb from his grandfather and his teacher back in elementary school.
What does “bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani” mean?
“The literal translation is better a sparrow in a hand than a pigeon on the branch. The English equivalent of this proverb is “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” This means something you have for certain now is of more value than something better you may get, especially if you risk losing what you have in order to get it.”
I think this proverb has a good message to it; don’t selfishly throw away something good just because you think you deserve better. However, I also believe you should never settle. If you truly think something out there is better and you can achieve it, I say go for it. The proverb is applicable sometimes, and not others.