Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nasruddin Hoca

 December 2002
Folk Tales from Around the World

 In Turkey, Nasruddin Hoca is truly a household name and a cultural figure whose anecdotes are invoked with remarkable frequency by authors, speakers, and people in the street alike.  He lived probably in the 13th century although some authorities place him in the 14th or even the 15th century.  The name Nasreddin means "Helper of the Faith."  It actually suits the man's personality and humor.  The range of Hoca's comic faculty is dazzlingly broad.  Whatever the mode, his humor always does justice to the principle of "Ride tem dicere verum", to speak the truth even when laughing.  There are many stories about him.  I want to write his some stories.  Read them yourself.

   A man brought a letter to the Hoca: "Hoca, could you read this letter?"  Hoca looked at the letter which was all in Arabic.  He was unable to read it and give it back to the man.
   "Take this to someone else, I couldn't read it," said Hoca.
   "How come?  you are wearing the turban of a learned man, yet you can't read a letter..."
   The Hoca took off his turban and placed it in front of the man.  "OK, if it is the skill of the turban, put it on and read your letter yourself!"


   "Hoca, what does the marriage mean?"
   "During the days double snarling at each other, during the nights double snoring together!"

Let it cry!

One night, Hoca was wakened up by his wife while their baby was crying in his cradle. .
   "Hoca, swing the cradle!  This baby is not only mine but half is yours."
   Hoca with sleepy eyes:  "OK, do it for the half of yours, let the half that's mine cry!"

Try it yourselves

   While working on the roof of his house Hoca had a dizzy spell and suddenly found himself on the ground.  The neighbors came running concerned and began to shout questions;
  "What happened, Hoca?"
   "Did you hurt yourself?"
    "You should have paid attention... "
     "How do you feel, Hoca?"
   Hoca groaned "Instead of standing around pestering me, you should climb onto my roof and roll over the ledge head first, then you would have all your answers."


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