The neighbor’s chicken is a goose

Background: My informant, O, is a 19 year old male consulting over text with his 60 year old Persian aunt. He recalled hearing this proverb from his great grandparents and grandparents growing up.

مرغ همسایه غازه in Farsi 

O: It basically means that from your perspective other people’s things look more enticing then they actually are. Sort of like “the grass is greener on the other side”. Because geese are more valuable than chickens apparently. In Persian culture, money and status are really important, but uh… virtues are as well, if that makes sense. So a lot of our proverbs are reminders to ourselves to keep our principles. To avoid envy in this case. 

My thoughts: This proverb is interesting because it is so similar to the english proverb “The grass is always greener on the other side” but in farsi it is the way it is because it has a certain sound to it that makes it easier to remember, much like how many english proverbs have alliteration or rhyme.