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Mountain and stone

| 2016-07-05 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

The Yungang Grottoes are located on the south side of Wuzhou Mountain and the north bank of Shili River.

 

石可破也,而不可夺坚;丹可磨也,而不可夺赤。
Stone can be broken, but it will not lose its rigidity; vermilion can be granulated, but it will still be red.
This proverb indicates that a person of ideals and integrity would rather die than submit or be humiliated.

 

石头是刀的朋友,障碍是意志的朋友。
Stone whets a sword; difficulties strengthen willpower.
This proverb is commonly used to mean that hard times breed strength.

 

山高皇帝远。
The mountain is high, the emperor far away.
This proverb is often used to show the difficulties of obtaining justice, or used to point out that authority figures have a hard time controlling distant places.

 

山外有山,天外有天。
Beyond the mountains there are more mountains, and beyond heaven there are more heavens.
This proverb is frequently used to mean that regardless of how good one is at something, there is always somebody better. The counterpart in English is “Behind the mountains there are people to be found.”

 

山中无老虎,猴子称大王。
Where there is no tiger, the monkey is king.
This is used to mean that a person who is not particularly capable can attain a powerful position if the people around him are even less capable. Similar English proverbs include: “In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.”