Monday, March 1, 2010

The Albanian Nastradin Hoxha

When I was a young lad and began to “stretch the truth” after my mother would ask where I had been or why I was late getting home, she invariably shook her finger at me and called me in the Albanian language: "Nastradini!" She had recognized that I was, sometimes, a teller of tall tales. But, it wasn't until I became much older that I realized what it was she meant by calling me "Nastradini."

The fictional Albanian "Nastradini" or "Nastradin Hoxha" folktales stem from the real life character of Nostradamus, a 16th century French apothecary and reputed soothsayer, who published collections of prophesies that have since become famous worldwide. As his legend grew, Nostradamus metamorphised into a legendary, satirical figure known under a variety of names throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. He was eventually brought to Europe as Nasreddin Hodja by the Ottoman Empire and became well remembered for his amusing anectdotes. Much of Nasreddin's actions have been described as illogical yet logical, simple yet profound. The messages of Nastradin Hoxha can be best described as conveyed by a method of profound simplicity. Here’s an example:

Budalla! (Fool!)

Once, a philosopher had an appointment
to match his wits with Nastradini
to see who was the master.
He prepared himself single-mindedly
the way one does - for this encounter;
and he was all set; but of all things,
when he came to call, he found no one home.
In supreme high dudgeon,
he pulled a big chalk from his pocket
and marked Budalla!
on the door, and stalked off.
When Nastradini came home and saw
What the philosopher had done,
he hurried off to his house.
“I ask your forgiveness,”
said Nastradini to the philosopher,
“for not finding me at home when
you came to see me.
I had forgotten our appointment
until I saw you had written your name
on my door.”

xxx

2 Comments:

At January 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

very good !!!!......(please read this Van Kristo)

~Im feel very proud now....you know why?
because (Im albanian too)I read you Biography -->
and I see your succsesful and a great man !!!

~I live in Greece, I came here when i was 1 year old,
and now Im 15 so I have lived my whole life here....
when i was little my grandmother used to tell me stories about "Nastradin Hoxha" I really like him....I though he was albanian until yesterday...hahaha yeah today I learnt he was born at Turkey. I randomly found this and i wanted to post a message after i read your profile.

~I see you tried hard in your life and you became successful and....very popular you got awards also..
the thing that made proud is becose your albanian and you have achieve so much things, you know here in Greece is too much racism you have to work very hard to do something BIG and they always say bad thing about us.

~My Dream is to go somewhere out there and make myself popular and successful and help my family too. I hope we meet sometime :)
~I hope you read all the message, sorry if my message doesnt make sense my english are bad im doing my best :) and also write a response if you want or you want to tell me something

 
At November 5, 2011 at 1:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mbase qe te dy qenkeni shqipetar, pse nuk shruni ne shqip por ne anglisht?

 

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