The Crayfish Sides with the Crab

Original Text: 가재는 게 편이라
Translation: The crayfish sides with the crab.

K is a Korean American whose parents are of Korean ancestry. He is currently in college. He says that he had heard this proverb from his parents. This piece is memorable to him because it simply stood out as peculiar and memorable and is one of the pieces of Korean culture that his mother would say to him frequently.

Context: This proverb came up in a discussion about proverbs. There was a back and forth between interesting proverbs and what they meant before this piece came up.

As with many other childhood proverbs, this proverb serves the role of teaching a young child on how to survive the world. Because both crayfish and crabs are hard shelled creatures that live in similar environments, they normally share similar goals, desires and attitudes. As such, it would be wise for them to take similar sides of an argument because they are so similar. This teaches children that you should help people who are in similar situations as themselves because they will hold similar stakes. This idea of sticking with similarities is present in much of Korean culture as they tend to be cautious of foreign people.