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Nasredin Hoja (Efendi)

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Posted 22 November 2000 - 06:01 PM

Also dedicated to Huseyin Tufan. We shared these during childhood in Stambul. But, now we are worlds apart.


For Armenians who can speak and understand Turkchiye:

Aksehir'e yabanci bir bilgin gelmish, kentin en bilgili kishisiyle atishmak istedigini soylemish. Nasreddin Hoca'yi chagirmishlar...Yabanci bilgin, degnekle yere bir daire chizmish. Hoca degnegi elinden alip bu daireyi ikiye bolmush. Adam Hoca'nin chizdigine dik bir chizgi daha chekmish, daire dorde bolunmush. Hoca dairenin uch bolumunu alir gibi yapmish; dorduncu bolumunu karshisindakine verir gibi itelemish. Yabanci parmaklarini bir araya getirerek elini yere dogru sallamish. Hoca, bunun tam tersini yapmish. Karshilashma sona erince yabanci bilgin achiklamish. -Sizin Hoca pek yaman! Dunyanin yuvarlak oldugunu gosterdim, "ortasinda ekvator var" dedi. Dorde boldum, "dortte uchu su, dortte biri kara'" dedi. "Yagmur neden yagar?" dedim, "sular buharlashinca goge yukselip bulut olur, sonra da yagmura donushur" cevabini verdi. Akshehir'liler Hoca'ya da sormushlar bu karshilashmanin anlamini. Hoca shunlari soylemish: -Obur herif, "bir tepsi baklava olsa" dedi. "Tek bashina yiyemezsin," dedim, "yarisi benim." "Dorde bolsek n'aparsin?" dedi, "dortte uchunu yerim," dedim. "Ustune ceviz, fistik filan eksek" dedi "iyi olur ama, kullu ateste olmaz, harli atesh gerek," dedim. Altolup gitti!

A learned foreign scientist came to Aksehir and said he wanted to challenge the wits of the most knowledgeable person in the city. The townsfolk called for Nasreddin Hoja....

When the Hoja arrived, the foreigner drew a circle in the sand with a stick. The Hoja frowned, took the stick, and divided the circle in two.

The foreigner then drew another line through the circle that divided it into four equal parts. The Hoja pretended to gather three parts toward himself and to push the remaining part toward the foreigner.

The foreigner then raised his arm above his head, and wiggling his extended fingers, he slowly lowered his hand to the ground. The Hoja did exactly the same thing but in the opposite direction--moving his hand from the ground to a height above his head.

And, that completed the foreigner's tests--which he explained privately to the city council..."Your Hoja is very clever man," he began, "I showed him that the world is round--and he confirmed it but indicated that 'it also has an equator'. And when I divided the world into 4 parts, he indicated that it is '3 parts water and 1 part land', which I can't deny. Finally, I asked what is the origin of rain? He answered quite rightly that 'water rises as steam to the sky, makes cloud, and later returns to earth as rain.'"

When they got him alone, the ordinary townsfolk asked the Hoja what the challenge was all about? The Hoja said, "Well, that other fellow first asked, 'Suppose we have this round tray of baklava? So, I said, 'You can't eat it all by yourself, you know. So, I'll take half.' Then he got a little rude, saying, 'What will you do if I cut it into 4 parts?' That upset me, so I said, 'In that case, I'll take three of the parts and only leave you one!' That softened him up, I think, because then, with the motion of his hand, he said, 'Well, I suppose I could add some walnuts and pistachio nuts on top of the baklava.' I cooled down too and said, 'That's fine with me, but you'll need to cook it under full flame, because an ash fire just won't be hot enough'. When I said that, he knew I was right, and gave up the game..."

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Posted 23 November 2000 - 06:05 PM

Originally posted by Gr. Mamigonian:

For Armenians who can speak and understand Turkchiye:

Gr. Mamigonian, please have the manners and common sence not to post in Turkish. Thank you.


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Posted 10 January 2001 - 01:24 PM

Mr. Mamigonian,
I know this has nothing to do with humor, and I hate to say something positive about Turkey but I must ask a question. I've heard from quite a few sources, that the baklava in Turkey is uniquely delicious and you have not tasted baklava till you have tasted baklava made in Turkey. As I love this pastry I wanted to know if there is any validity to this claim.

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