European Proverbs


Noemi Lusi (Italy) has been working on proverbs with her students for some time already. She started collecting them in a myEurope project called WORDLand.


When debating with her students on the main values in class, Noemi found out, that they showed profound interest in European Union proverbs on these values. The most important values, which are also part of the draft for an EU Constitution, are: democracy, equality, freedom, peace, solidarity, tolerance, rule of law and human dignity.

Here is Noemi's project idea:


Collect proverbs which go with each of the above mentioned values, add an image connected with each value, then organize them in a ppt-presentation or a website.

Noemi drafted a website in collaboration with teachers from all over Europea! Please go and have a look at it!

Noemi Lusi, e-mail:



Theresa Yiakoumatou (Greece) has made a great contribution which is worth looking at:

Pieter Bruegel's (the Elder) painting "Netherlandish Proverbs"  or "The Blue Cloak", as it is sometimes called, includes visual representations  of about 90 proverbs which were familiar to the people of Flanders in the 16th century. In this painting, the people of a village act out all the proverbs and sayings. We can rougly divide them into two groups: those which comment on the absurdity of human behaviour and those which demonstrate sinfulness.


Theresa's suggestion is to encourage students to illustrate proverbs by asking them to select the key words of a proverb and to look for symbolic connections. Those among you who have the chance to go the Gemaeldegalerie in Berlin can see there the original of Bruegel's painting.


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