A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs.
The German proverb means that the character and the intellect of the people of a nation can be judged from the quality of the proverbs that are in vogue in the country. This is mainly due to the fact that the proverbs come from daily experiences of people in a
country. These experiences form the core of the proverbs. The intelligence of the people helps in constructing these proverbs.
So in essence proverb helps in learning about a country, its people, the culture prevalent at that place. The country is thus known by the quality of proverbs.
The proverbs can be formed in any manner. The inferences that the people of the country make reflect the quality of their intelligence. So, this proverb highlights the importance of the caliber of intelligence of the people of the country.
A courtyard common to all will be swept by none.
A courtyard is an open space in front of a house. Some times a courtyard may be a common space to more than one house. In such a case the courtyard will not be swept by any one of the houses. So it always remains dirty and unclean.
The same is the situation with common places and public places. People will always try to keep their places clean. But they will never keep the public places clean. This is because they always have the feeling that common places do not belong to them. We
always try to throw the dust on the streets and keep our house clean. But we are never worried about the cleanliness of our country. So any object of common use will be a place of neglect.
A close friend can become a close enemy.
FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT is a proverb similar to this Ethiopian proverb. This proverb insists on the necessity to maintain distance between friends. If there is a close relationship between friends sometimes it may become harmful to the friendship
itself. This is because if we are too familiar to some object or some person we will automatically develop a dislike or hate for the person and we have contempt. Even in the case of food we would like to try out different varieties and we will be bored if we eat the same food daily. This also happens when relatives living close to each other develop a hostile attitude whereas relatives who live far away from each other are very friendly. This occurs because when we live close to one another, we see more of a person we start seeing their faults and so start hating them.