Sunday, October 21, 2007

Celebrations Planned for Nasreddin Hodja in 2008

Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Saturday, October 20, 2007

2008 will mark the 800th anniversary of the birth of Nasreddin Hodja, the patriarch of Turkish humorists.

But he was not just a joker. He was a wise man who had an answer to every question and was up to every trick.

Taner Serin, the president of the Nasreddin Hodja and Tourism Association, said that this figure, whose tomb is in the Akşehir district of Konya, is one of the most important Turkish-Islamic personalities of the 13th century and one of Turkey’s most famous cultural figures, like Mevlana Muhammed Jelaluddin Rumi, Yunus Emre and Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli.

This significant anniversary of his birth will come one year after the “Year of Mevlana,” as 2007 has been declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Serin said, “We are preparing to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of Nasreddin Hodja, who was born in 1208, a year after Mevlana’s birth.”

Pointing out that the life, message and works of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi have been celebrated around the world with comprehensive publicity campaigns corresponding to UNESCO’s 2007 designation, Serin added, “We would like similar campaigns to be held for Nasreddin Hodja.”

Serin explained that Mevlana and Nasreddin Hodja lived in the same time period, in the same city in Konya, and also took lessons from the same teacher, Seyyit Mahmut Hayrani, another famous Islamic scholar of the time.

“Although Nasreddin Hodja is not as famous as Mevlana, he is another essential part of our culture about whom there are many scholars studying. On the other hand, in our country everybody knows at least one of Nasreddin Hodja’s funny stories.

He was a good observer; he could analyze events with wisdom. He got across his messages in unconventional yet effective methods with profound simplicity. He wanted people to draw a lesson from his funny stories. Every year we organize international festivals to remember him,” he said.

Serin concluded: “Nowadays, we are sending messages from Konya for peace and brotherhood. Next year we will once again send messages of peace and self-criticism with Nasreddin Hodja’s funny stories to a world that has been scarred by war and pain.”

[Books about Nasreddin (or Nasrudin) stories available at
The Sufi Bookstore http://astore.amazon.com/wilderwri-20].

3 comments:

irving said...

I love the Mullah :) Here is recent post on Darvish about one of his tales.

http://darvish.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/mullah-nasrudin-the-rich-man-and-the-poor-man/

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but how is this claim verifiable? Cynical as I may sound, this seems purely like another attempt to unjustly claim a personage to bolster tourism while completely missing the point of Nasruddin tales.

Marina Montanaro said...

Salam Dear Anonymous,
i see your point. Of course, Sufi News' staff was not there at the time of the birth of Nasrudin Hoja!
:D

Nonetheless, we have two basic rules for reporting a News report, which both apply here: a) it is relevant b) it is good for spreading and stocking.

I don't think you are being cynical, though, only cautious, but let me say that even if it will end up with more countries fighting for the best Nasrudin's year celebration, the Sufi community will simply be enriched.

As for getting the point of Nasruddin's tales, this is part of each darvish's strive and hope.

Regards,
Marina (editor)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Celebrations Planned for Nasreddin Hodja in 2008
Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Saturday, October 20, 2007

2008 will mark the 800th anniversary of the birth of Nasreddin Hodja, the patriarch of Turkish humorists.

But he was not just a joker. He was a wise man who had an answer to every question and was up to every trick.

Taner Serin, the president of the Nasreddin Hodja and Tourism Association, said that this figure, whose tomb is in the Akşehir district of Konya, is one of the most important Turkish-Islamic personalities of the 13th century and one of Turkey’s most famous cultural figures, like Mevlana Muhammed Jelaluddin Rumi, Yunus Emre and Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli.

This significant anniversary of his birth will come one year after the “Year of Mevlana,” as 2007 has been declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Serin said, “We are preparing to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of Nasreddin Hodja, who was born in 1208, a year after Mevlana’s birth.”

Pointing out that the life, message and works of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi have been celebrated around the world with comprehensive publicity campaigns corresponding to UNESCO’s 2007 designation, Serin added, “We would like similar campaigns to be held for Nasreddin Hodja.”

Serin explained that Mevlana and Nasreddin Hodja lived in the same time period, in the same city in Konya, and also took lessons from the same teacher, Seyyit Mahmut Hayrani, another famous Islamic scholar of the time.

“Although Nasreddin Hodja is not as famous as Mevlana, he is another essential part of our culture about whom there are many scholars studying. On the other hand, in our country everybody knows at least one of Nasreddin Hodja’s funny stories.

He was a good observer; he could analyze events with wisdom. He got across his messages in unconventional yet effective methods with profound simplicity. He wanted people to draw a lesson from his funny stories. Every year we organize international festivals to remember him,” he said.

Serin concluded: “Nowadays, we are sending messages from Konya for peace and brotherhood. Next year we will once again send messages of peace and self-criticism with Nasreddin Hodja’s funny stories to a world that has been scarred by war and pain.”

[Books about Nasreddin (or Nasrudin) stories available at
The Sufi Bookstore http://astore.amazon.com/wilderwri-20].

3 comments:

irving said...

I love the Mullah :) Here is recent post on Darvish about one of his tales.

http://darvish.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/mullah-nasrudin-the-rich-man-and-the-poor-man/

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but how is this claim verifiable? Cynical as I may sound, this seems purely like another attempt to unjustly claim a personage to bolster tourism while completely missing the point of Nasruddin tales.

Marina Montanaro said...

Salam Dear Anonymous,
i see your point. Of course, Sufi News' staff was not there at the time of the birth of Nasrudin Hoja!
:D

Nonetheless, we have two basic rules for reporting a News report, which both apply here: a) it is relevant b) it is good for spreading and stocking.

I don't think you are being cynical, though, only cautious, but let me say that even if it will end up with more countries fighting for the best Nasrudin's year celebration, the Sufi community will simply be enriched.

As for getting the point of Nasruddin's tales, this is part of each darvish's strive and hope.

Regards,
Marina (editor)