Title: Waiting for One
General information about item:
- Verbal folklore, proverb
- Language: Russian
- Country of origin: Russia
- Informant: Amanda Durfee
- Date collected: 10/31/18
Amanda is a senior at Dartmouth College. She was raised in Wisconsin, but attended a Russian camp during the summer when she was in high school, which is where she learned the proverbs she shared. She has also studied abroad in Russia, and is majoring in the subject at Dartmouth, where she is currently taking coursework in the language.
Amanda learned this proverb while at Russian camp in high school. She is also currently taking classes in Russian at Dartmouth to fulfill her major in Russian.
Се́меро одного́ не ждут.
Literal translation: “Seven will not wait for one.”
Meaning: The group as a whole should not suffer for an individual.
Transcript: “‘Се́меро одного́ не ждут.’ And that translates to, ‘Seven will not wait for one.'”
Amanda didn’t have many comments on this piece of folklore, beyond reaffirming its general meaning of the importance of the group over the importance of the individual.
Again, this proverb was not particularly focused on friendship, per se, as it was on social relations as a whole. I found it to be very collectivistic in its mindset. Similar to another proverb Amanda provided, this one seems focused on obligations rather than on rewarding good behaviors. Interestingly, Amanda did not say that this proverb was Soviet in its origin, unlike the other collectivistic one she provided.
This proverb is structured as almost a commandment, pronouncing a moral judgment that ought to be followed. Its language is absolutist, as if the outcome has already been decided — seven “will not” wait, rather than “should not.” It’s also possible to read it not as a moral judgment, but as a simple statement of facts — regardless of whether or not it is good, seven will not wait for one.
Collector’s name: Zachary Benjamin