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Nasriddeen Hodjaa

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Nasriddeen Hodjaa
Taken from  Nasreddin Hodja

There have been a few very witty people in the world like Birbal in India. Hodjaa's humor is also very good and famous like him. He is from Turkey and perhaps all of Islaam's best-known trickster. As Birbal's stories cannot be identified whether they are genuine or not, in the same way Hodjaa's stories also cannot be said with certainty that they really belong to him. Over the centuries many stories have been assigned to his name and he has been added to them as their main character, because many stories can be easily identified as not belonging to him. Today all these stories belong to Turkish people.

His stories spread throughout only by word of mouth in the lands of Ottoman Empire and the land where Turkish language was spoken. In other countries, Hodjaa was replaced by their own local character. Today his stories are told over a vast geographical area from Turkmenistaan to Hungary; and from Southern Siberia to North Africa. His stories have been translated in many languages. he is still the most popular character in Turkey. Every year during 5-10 July, an International Nasreddin Hodjaa Festival in Aksehir where his tomb is.

According to certain stories he seems to be the contemporary of Tamerlane who invaded Anatolia in the beginning of the 14th century (1301); while according to others he lived before or after this incident. Any historical account of his life is still not available fully.

The town of Sivrihisar of the city of Eskisehir is accepted as the birthplace of Hodjaa. A gravestone dated 1327, found in Sivrihisar, belongs to his daughter Fatimaa and indicates that she lived 43 more years after his death.

His oldest story is found in a book called "Saltukname" written in 1480 AD. This book contains other stories also. This book states that the natives of Sivrihisar behaved strangely and it is also mentioned in a handwritten story book kept in the national library of Paris -  "Bibliotheque Nationale". These documents are considered as proof of his birth in Sivrihisar. Based on these sources his life can be stated like this.

He was born in a village of Hortu of Sivrihisar, and died in 1284 in Aksehir, a province in Konya. He was good humorist, a witty person and a good conversationalist, but his all stories do not seem to represent him so.

Some Sources About Hodjaa
(1) This website is for a book, a collection of Hodjaa's stories  -  Nasreddin Hodja. This book is of 66 pages and the number of stories should be more than 100
(2) Hodjaa's some stories may be tread here too - Some more then 20 stories are given here.

(3) "Once the Hodja" is a book of Hodja stories written by Alice Geer Kelsey, published by David McKay, 1943.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/2001
Modified on 06/04/13