From the 30th of June until the 4th of July the third project meeting of the Project: “Oral Culture Bridge between the Past and the Future” took place in Graz. Participants from Austria, Germany, Spain and Turkey came together to discuss previously gathered proverbs on the topics EMPLOYMENT and MIGRATION.
The overall aim of the meeting was to discover commonalities and differences of our cultures by comparing proverbs from all four participating languages, based on the assumption that proverbs and sayings – being part of our everyday-language – influence our culture and transmit meanings, that might not always be visible on first sight.
Taking into account the impact language can have on our ideas and values, we discovered it to be highly important to reflect upon what meanings actually are transmitted by certain proverbs. In our discussion we found that many proverbs regarding Employment and Migration represent stereotypes about certain professions, certain nations or certain people’s attitudes towards work or foreigners. Especially proverbs in the area of Migration can often have discriminating origins, while their usage nowadays is sometimes not meant to be discriminating. Thus, it can be concluded that proverbs in general are also always about social and gender aspects. It is important to reflect upon these aspects in order to find out to what extent and way we shape the world around us by using them.