Abstract

The present study embarked with a supposition that there are similarities (traditional, under-developed, agri-based) between the Punjabi and African cultures, so the gender ideology might have similar patterns, which can be verified through the analysis of oral genres of the respective cultures. From Africa, Nigerian (Yoruba) proverbs are selected to be studied in comparison with Punjabi proverbs, while taking insights from Feminist CDA (Lazar 2005). The study has examined how Punjabi and Yoruba proverbs mirror, produce and conserve gendered ideology and patriarchism. Punjabi proverbs are selected through purposive sampling from ‘Our Proverbs’ (Shahbaz 2005) and Yoruba examples (with English translations and interpretations) are elicited from a dictionary of Yoruba proverbs (Owomoyela 2005), as well as articles written about gender by native Yoruba researchers. The investigation has uncovered through thematic content analysis that the portrayal of women in both communities is primarily biased, face-threatening and nullifying. Both languages have presented womenfolk mainly as unreliable, insensible, loquacious, insincere, ungrateful, opportunist, materialistic and troublemaking. Men have been depicted for the most part as aggressive, rational, prevailing, and anxious to take risks. This analysis infers that in asymmetrically organised Punjabi and African (Yoruba) communities, proverbs are deliberately sustaining inequality.

Keyword(s)

ProverbsGenderPunjabiAFRICASexismfolk wisdom