Can youimagine an oldmanridingbackwards on his donkey? Ifso, youhavejust met an immortal 13th centurycharacter- NasreddinHodja
Let’stake a shorttripintotheworld of thisstrangeandfunnyperson.
It is obviousthat he is a man of wit, common sense, satire andevenridiculewhoknowsverywellhumanpsychologyandthesystem of thesocietythosetimes.
Manyreseacheshavebeenmadeabouthimandtheyshowthatthistalentedgeniouslived in the 13th century, probablybetween 1208-1284, andthat he wasborn in a smallvillagecalled Sivrihisar in Anatolia.
Since onlyreligiousschoolsexisted in thosecenturies, he studiedtheIslamicreligionandbecame a “Kadi” (a magistrate) in Akşehir, again in Anatolia, anddiedthere.
But, his anecdotesandstoriesremainedforcenturiesandstillpeoplelaugh at themtoday. Also, his storiesaretranslatedintomanydifferentlanguagesandpeoplecomeacrosswiththiswittymanand his “donkey”, themostwidespreadvehicleandsymbol in manyanecdotes.
So, let’s listen toone of them, a smallconversationbetweentheHodjaand his wifenow:
THEN, WHERE IS THE CAT?Onceupon a time theHodjabroughthomesomemeat, but never had a chancetoeat it. His wifeeitherate it herselforserved it to her friends, andeach time theHodjaaskedforsomemeat, shesaid,“Thecatstole it. I ranafter it, but I couldn’tcatch it.”Oneday, when his wifeagaintoldhimthatthecat, had eatenthe 2 kilos of themeat he had brought, theHodjagrabbedthecatandweighed it. Itweighed 2 kilos. Then, theHodjaturnedto his wifeandsaid,“Ifthis is thecat, then, where is themeat? But, ifthis is themeat, then, where is thecat?”