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Noble Advices

In order to have a good and smooth life, our elder generations have inherited  noble advises to the younger generations. Everyone is advised to maintain the auspacious principle of life which then become a tradition respected and implemented consciously by our commnunity.

The advices and  knowledge of life inherited by our elders are not readily compiled in one or several books, but all are scattered everywhere  purposedly.

So,  we the younger generation including the writer should work hard and diligently in order to  :

  1.  Find the whereabout of our ancestral teachings.
  2.  Learn and  understand the core of the teachings consisted of worldly and spiritual knowledge.

We can always find the auspacious teachings of our ancestors in the Javanese proverbs, expressions, in the songs – tembang in Javanese, in the ancient literature, folktales, the story of wayang etc.

We are taught to always behave correctly and politely,  have confident,  maintain good moral conduct and ethics. We are also taught not to be arrogant, be always low profile. However, the first lesson is : Always be conscious of God’s presence, anywhere, anytime. God never sleep- Gusti ora sare in Javanese, He knows everything.


Advises from proverbs

In the daily life, we oftenly hear people quoting old proverbs which are still relevant up to now. We just have  to follow the good advices and avoid the bad

ones. By doing so, we will be confident that life in the society is  good and in harmony.

The era of madness

There is a famous classical advice from a poem written by Ronggowarsito, a great Javanese poet of the 19th century, as follow :

To live in the era of madness
It is difficult to choose between good and bad conduct
If we follow the crazy deed, it is against our conscious mind
But, if we are against the bad things
We would not get a fortune
And we will be hungry, suffer
But, it is  God’s will
A conscious and cautious person, will have a better fortunate destiny than an unconscious person.


To mock the truth

There are bad times for good people, when truth and good people are mocked, as mentioned in the following phrases :

  1. The right man is sad, the wrong man is happy, the good man is rejected and even chased away.
  2. The bad is considered as good, while the good is considered as bad. 


Citizising people with bad manners

There  Javanese proverbs have expressions to critizise people with bad manners, such as :

  1. Too many thunders but the rain is rare, in Javanese : Kakehan gludhug kurang udan which means : One who talks a lot mostly the bigger part is bulshit.
  2. Too big head with less brain- in Javanese Kegedhen endhas kurang uteg which means : One who looks like an intelligent, but the fact he is stupid.
  3. One with appearance like a great man- in Javanese : Alihan gung which mean : A stupid man buat  feels as if he is smart.

Expressions critizise individuals who like to boast themselves





  1. One who show-off like a peacock- Merak kecancang in Javanese.
  2. One who show –off by walking like a duck- Malang kadhak in Javanese.
  3. The corruption, manipulation, blackmail and misused of authority by someone is called Murang kara in Javanese.
  4. One who thinks that other people are blind – Micakake wong melek in Javanese which means : One who is not ashamed for his bad conduct .
  5. Mungal mungil is a Javanese expression for a man with no principal, a hesitant man.
  6. To praise the sweet of sugar- Ngalem legine gulo in Javanese which mean : One who always praise the rich people and people with high rangking position, by doing so he expects to be given some rewards.
  7. A lazy man who does not work, but he got a fortune – In Javanese : Ngantuk nemu kethuk.
  8. Deceive with subtle tricks- In Javanese : Anjabung alus.
  9. Claping hands, do not need to pay- in Javanese Keplok ora tombok which means : One who likes to blame others but not extending any help.
  10. One who has no more good conduct and has only envies left – in Javanese Ilang jarake, kari jaile.

The behaviour of some people in a sick country
  1. One who breaks the law and order, creates unrest- in Javanese is Mbondhan tanpo ratu which means : to rebel, does not recoqnise the king.
  2. One who does what he wishes,  thinks that he lives in a jungle ,with no prevailing laws- in Javanese : Ngalasake negoro.
  3. One does  what he likes- in Javanese : Mampang mumpung.
  4. One who spreads rumors to make turmoil – in Javanese Alesus gumeter.
  5. In a sick country, there are psychics who make predictions to earn a living. Although many of their predictions are not accurate, they continue to predict – in Javanese : Sawat ambalang kayu .

  6. One who goes everywhere spreading rumors and make bad deeds like a devil with his lantern- in Javanese : Setan nggowo ting.
  7. Someone who makes bad deeds purposedly and causing conflicts and hostilities- in Javanese Caca upa lan Raja wisuna.
  8. Creating black campaign by blaming and abusing his opponents- in Javanese : Bahni maya pramana.
  9. A lazy man who wants to live comfortably, but  does not want to work hard, in Javanese : Arep jamure, emoh watange lit. means : He wants the mushrooms but does not want to clean the stalks.
  10. Gathering of criminals – in Javanese Gecul kumpul.
   11.  Leaders who feel that they are strong         - Hadigang in Javanese;
          They are powerful                                       - Hadigung in Javanese;
          They are clever                                            - Hadiguna in Javanese.

Some high ranking officials and their sub-ordinates who are not ashamed for their bad behaviour- in Javanese Rai Gedheg lit. means : A  plaited bamboos face i.e.  very rough.

People who like to extort money even from the poor, resulting the people live miserably like Pitik trondhol dibubuti in Javanese which means : A chicken that has no feather anymore as all the feathers have been drawn.

Suryo S. Negoro  
Edited by Arie Suryo