Time for some fun

Time for some fun

It is the holiday season. If not the entire Muslim world at least the Turks will be having a prolonged nine-day holiday as the government generously decided to bridge the weekend and the religious holiday with an “administrative holiday” and thus provided the Turks with an extended holiday period. This, perhaps will help as well to the tourism industry which has been complaining for some time because of empty hotels due to the absence of foreign tourists. Well problems were resolved with Israel, a patch up is in the pipeline with Russia and perhaps a new Kurdish opening might be unveiled soon also. Still it will take a long time to make a return to the old good boom days of Turkish tourism. At least with domestic supplementary remedfies, such as the current one, the sector will be served a life kiss.

The terrorist attack at the Atatürk Airport of Istanbul devastated the spirit of the religious holiday. In the absence of the right to live, all other rights, pleasures of the world have become meaningless. Yet, despite all the sadness, pain in the hearts over lost dear ones, difficulties, life continues. Anyhow, enough is enough with bad news, gloomy political articles on these rather climactically and politically hot days. 

For a change, try to enjoy a set of jokes attributed to this area’s greatest folk hero, Nasraddin Hodja, the famous folk tale hero of not only Turkey but a larger geography spanning Iran and Azerbaijan. Shall I start with the story of the “Blessed man”? Nasraddin Hodja has a rather interesting joke on this issue. According to Hodja’s joke, to make a blessed man happy, God lets his donkey be lost so that he could jubilate in finding it. 

* * *

One night the people heard a frightful noise from the Hodja’s house.

“What was that noise?” neighbors asked in the morning.

“Oh, my coat fell downstairs,” replied the Hodja.

Unsatisfied with the reply, “Can a coat make such a noise?” neighbors asked.

With a large smile on his face the Hodja replied: “If you were in it, like me, yes!”

* * *

The Hodja was traveling on foot from a long way away; he got very tired and decided to rest. Then he prayed: “Dear God,” he said. “Please send me a donkey!”

A few minutes later, he saw a man riding on a horse and leading a young donkey. The man came nearer, stopped beside him and shouted: “You, leprous man! Instead of starving there, come on carry the donkey, it is tired.”

Although the Hodja said, that he was also tired, the tyrannical man beat him with a stick and so the poor Hodja took the donkey on his shoulders.

Then the man on the horse proceeded on his way. Every time the Hodja slowed down, the man beat him and after many miserable hours, they reached the town, where the man let the Hodja go, without thanking him. Then the Hodja fall down on the earth and slept many hours. When he awakened he murmured
“Oh, my God! What happened? Was it that I couldn’t explain, or that you couldn’t understand?”

* * *

At that time, the Hodja had two wives. They wanted to know whom the Hodja loved best. They asked him. “If we went in a boat on the lake, and it sank, whom would you save?””

The Hodja turned to his first wife and said: “You know how to swim dear, don’t you?”

One day, people asked the Hodja: “To which sign of the Zodiac do you belong?”

He answered: “The goat.”

“What?” they said, “but there isn’t any sign of the goat.”

“When I was born,” said the Hodja, “they said to my Mother that I was a Capricorn.”

“There you are then, Hodja,” said one of the men, but the Hodja turned to him and said:

“I am 40-plus years old, so can’t a Capricorn grow up to be a goat in that time?”

* * *

When Sultan Tamerlane (Timur) came to Akşehir, the Hodja went to bid him welcome. Of course, he didn’t forget the typical Turkish custom, and brought him a roasted goose.

On the way to Timur, the smell of the goose and his hunger forced him to eat. So he ate one leg of the goose. When Timur saw it with one leg he became very angry, because he himself walked with a limp and he was called “Timur the Lame.” He thought that the Hodja was making fun of him.

“Where is the other leg of this goose,” he shouted angrily.

“In our country the geese have only one leg,” replied the Hodja.

“Nonsense,” shouted Timur, Then he saw some geese standing in the sun on one leg. He ordered his men to chase the animals away. The geese began to run on both legs.

“You, liar!” shouted Timur. “They have two legs!”

“No, my sultan,” said the Hodja. “If you were chased like that, you could grow an extra two and run on four legs”

* * *

Nasraddin Hodja one day comes up with the great idea of fermenting the Akşehir Lake and making it a huge lake of yogurt. He starts fermenting the lake. Seeing Hodja fermenting the lake, a villager asked whether he believed the lake might become yogurt. 

Hodja replies, “I know as well how impossible the mission I undertook indeed is, but for one second just think of the abundance of yogurt we will have should the ferment work and the lake become yogurt!”

May all Daily News readers make best use of whatever is left from the holiday season and have a splendid time, full of smiles. We all need to relax a bit.