Currents, News

The legend of Nasruddin Hodja is alive and well

Nasruddin Hodja was populist philosopher and wise man who is remembered across many cultures for his funny stories and anecdotes.

Nasreddin Hodja is a Turkish cultural figure whose anecdotes are invoked by people over the world from all ages.The name Nasreddin means “Helper of the Faith” which suited his personality and humor He lived during the Seljuk era, was righteous and virtuous, and his advice was directed at showing the right path of life, advising people to do right and stay away from wrong. He cleared misconceptions, and brought home points with short, witty messages.

The wisdom imparted and proverbs have become part of everyday life. He was not only a folk hero but also was a philospher and ensure that doing the right thing was inherited from generation to generation. As one of the most important masters of Turkish literature and traditions, Nasreddin Hodja was born in the village of Horta, in the province of Sivrihisar, Eskisehir, in 1208.

His wit has transcended national and cultural borders. For seven centuries he has remained the foremost humorist in the Muslim and non-Islamic communities of the Middle East and North Africa, the Balkans and Central Asia. His tales have been translated into dozens of languages including English, Russian, German, French, etc., attesting to his universal appeal.

His humour and witty jokes were inclusive of daily life irrespective of surroundings: mosques, homes, neighbourhoods regarding everyday life events and incidents. His wife, the neighbourhood residents, women, muslim judges and donkey’s were common points of witty jokes.

Nasruddin Hodja in Uighur and Chinese culture

Even though the figures do not resemble the Nasreddin Hodja as we know it, the Chinese “Afanti” comics has also seen great interest. Also Nasreddin Hodja is not only documented in Uigur culture but also in Chinese not only Uighur Turks invaded China in quite a few places in the aforementioned document.

In East Turkestan, Nasreddin Hodja was referred to as “Nesirdin Ependi Letipiliri” or “”Efendi Letipirili”. It is not known in which way the stories of Nasreddin Hodja reached East Turkistan.

The Chinese have educated their children regarding including propaganda for the regime. Till today the memory of Nasreddin Hodja is alive and people still take a great interest in his stories. He passed away in either 1275/6 or 1285 and is buried in Aksehir, Konya.

Resource: World Bulletin

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