Are you Snoopy, Nosy and/or Gossipy?

Design above by kjapelian

The often spoken proverb, 'HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL AND SPEAK NO EVIL' is one of my favourite sayings ever. This phrase was put into practice in the form of three monkeys carved: Mizaru, with his hands over his eyes, Kikazaru, with his hands over his ears, & Iwazaru, with his hands over his mouth.

These famous monkey trio has been popular for eons.

In English, the monkeys' names are often given as Mizaru, Mikazaru, and Mazaru.
Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolises the principle of "do no evil". He may be covering his abdomen or crotch, or just crossing his arms.

Although commonly spoken, the origins of the three wise monkeys are rarely known.

The main guess is that it is derived from a religious phrase, "If we do not hear, see, or speak evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil."
It's such a good advice, especially as it is so difficult for people to hold their tongue, not backbite and gossip.

Even the meaning of the proverb is widely interpreted, ranging from not being nosy and spreading rumours to not being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The popular phrase in Japanese translates to: "mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru."
The Japanese word for monkey being "saru." However, some say that the three wise monkeys aren't Japanese in origin even though the source that popularised this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The maxim probably originally came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century.

Whatever its origins or interpretations are, this is one Golden Rule: speaking unkind, evil, or judgemental words is no use to anyone.

Have a look at these funny reinterpretations of the proverb and simply take it as a reminder not to be snoopy, nosy and gossipy.

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