Meaningful Buginese Proverbs “Pappasang To Riolo” Modern People Can Learn From

In Indonesia, Bugis people are the fifth largest ethnic group who mainly live in the area of southern Celebes island, the South Sulawesi. Their language, Buginese, is used by approximately 5 million people of natives and non-natives who spread in many regions of the country.

Most Bugis people still live their lives based on their cultural values inherited from the previous generations. Shipbuilding and notable sailing skill are two of many cultural identities that are still attached to these people. Rich and well-maintained cultural heritages make them become a prevalent ethnicity in Indonesia.

Wisdom literature in Bugis Culture

Pappasang To Riolo is traditional wisdom literature which literally means the message from the accentors that passed from generation to generation mostly written on old lontara manuscripts. Most of the literature is in the form of proverbs that are often used by society to teach characters to the young generation.

Since it was meant to teach children, the imperative languages are used directly with a small amount of figure of speech. Some of the lines are also called papparengngerang or reminders.

Although Pappasang To Riolo is considered an old manuscript, the messages are still teachable and relevant to today’s generation. The values in the Pappasang To Riolo are likely a deep reflective thought of the religious values that were important for the Bugis people.

Selected Pappasang To Riolo that have deep meanings

“Ceko riala sanreseng,  pajaneng temmalampe, riala pakkawarulempu riala sanreseng, pajaneng masumange, madeceng laona”. Meaning: When cheating becomes a habit, it can never be expected for living. When honesty becomes life’s grip, it will become beautiful and everything will be good.

“Lele bulu tellele abiasang, naekiyya lele mua abiasangengnge narekko abiasang topa palelei”. Meaning: A mountain can be moved but not the habit. But habit can be moved if one maintains the habit to move it.

Eppai gaukna lempuk e: Riasalaie naddampengeng, Riparennuanngie temmaceko, Temmangowaengngi tania olona, Tennaseng deceng rekko ri alena; iyami naseng deceng rekko nassamarini pudecengi”. Meaning: Four benefits of being honest: forgive when getting blamed, be truthful and never betray, be not greedy for others’ belonging, and never take virtue for self-advantage since virtue should be for everyone.

“Narekko mueloriwi atinna padammu rupa tau akbereangtoi atimmu.” Meaning: If you want someone’s heart, give yours first.

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