> When the purple swamp hen appears, it brings remembrance
There is a song (Oumachas) from which this saying derives: Once there was a young couple who made love in a secluded spot in the taro garden. While they were lying together a purple swamp hen darted out of the brush startling the couple. Eventually love cooled, but thereafter whenever the girl saw a purple swamp hen while she worked in the gardens, she recalled her lover. Hence any occurrence that brings back fond memories.
> Like Ngiramesemong, rehashing what has been finished.
Pertains to a person who repeatedly reminds another of past favors or continually recalls the mistakes of others. (My sources no longer recalled the episode or story from which this idiom derives.)
> Like an old woman who is cautious about coughing and breaking wind.
Among elderly women, it seems, coughing sometimes produces the unwanted effect of breaking wind. The idiom may be applied to any action that might produce an undesirable side effect, such as a hasty decision at a political meeting. As a caution, it suggests the need for leaders to consider all the consequences.
> If it is my lunch it can be divided, if it is yours then it cannot
Two men habitually trapped fish in the same region of the lagoon. One would occasionally ask the other to join him at lunch, the other would always refuse. One day the man who refused arrived with no lunch. When the usual invitation was extended the man refused, saying that, anyway, he had no lunch. The invitation was insistently pressed until the reluctant one gave in. As they split the taro between them the one who shared made the above statement. The idiom is a mild rebuke of a retentive person
> The heart and assessment.
This might better be translated, "Assessment with knowledge." The mind or head is thought to be the locus of knowledge in Palau, but such knowledge is made useful or is measured with the heart (reng). Chodab, in this context, would appear to mean "to take stock of" or "to measure." In essence, then, the phrase cautions one who seems on the point of making a rash decision to temper his thoughts with his heart.