|The 2018 opening of the festival|
The online Turkish journal, Raillife, in 2015 opened with the poster I have at the top of today's article. It talked about the Humor Train going to the festival, including a caricature competition. The Daily Sabah, sponsored by Turkish Airlines in 2016 did an article about "Nasreddin Hodja: traditional tales from a witty sage." They called him a "philosopher with a good sense of humor and the ability to convey symbolic messages through storytelling, his uncanny ability to highlight the social problems of his time by his use of humor was legendary. Nasreddin Hodja often addressed the connection between wealth and social problems, attributing the habits of the wealthy to the problems faced by society." They, too, give a few Hodja stories, because it's almost impossible to avoid. For a bit more on the Hodja and Turkish tourism, there's also Business-with-turkey.com in Portuguese, Spanish, English, and German.
Turkey isn't the only one to recognize what a gem they have in the Hodja. The year 1996 was proclaimed "Nasreddin Hoca year" by UNESCO.
I earlier mentioned the email list for storytellers, Storytell. Earlier this year a member asked for our favorite Hodja stories because his father-in-law passed away unexpectedly and "was much like Nasruddin Hodja" and he wanted the Hodja's "wit, his wisdom, his whimsy, and his desire to be helpful (even if it seems strange and foolish)."
Of course I responded. This was what I wrote.
I, too, find Nasruddin Hodja a delight. Thinking of my favorites, three and then a fourth popped into my mind. The Hodja on the donkeys befuddled because sometimes the number increased when he got off his own and only then counted it. The Hodja having to deliver a sermon when he doesn't know what to say so he asks "Do you know what I'm going to say?", letting his listeners the first week shake their heads "yes", the second week shake their heads "no", and on the third week he says let those who know tell the others who don't. The Hodja's arrival at a fancy dinner in his shabby work clothes earns him a poor place at the table, but, when he leaves and returns in his good coat, he puts food in the pockets and says "Eat, my fine coat" because he claims the better place it earns him at the table is obviously more important. The Hodja is able to rescue a drowning tax collector from a pond after the tax collector fails to "Give" his hand to another would-be rescuer because the Hodja knows the tax collector only can "Take" anything, even a rescuing hand. Ah, yes, and in typical Hodja fashion that reminds me of another as I love to tell about how he collected taxes and put the receipts on his wife's fine cookie dough after seeing other tax collectors forced to eat their receipts by Timur, a.k.a. Tamerlaine -- which means Timur the Lame and NOT something to be said in his presence. Oh and then that reminds me of yet two more -- how the Hodja kept his coat dry before going to Timur in the rain (naked, but he claimed he went between the raindrops) and how he showed his archery skills by three shots -- the first missing the target which he says is how Timur's opponents shoot; the second on the target but not the bullseye which he says are how Timur's soldiers shoot; and finally hitting the center which is how the Hodja shoots. LoiS(omehow one Hodja tale always seems to irresistibly lead to another and I couldn't resist answering with a few)
Storytell list members prefer their privacy in discussion, even though storytelling itself can make us very public in our telling. (I understand because an earlier employment at a library meant my own comments needed to be unattached to my work there.) As a result, if you clicked the earlier link for Storytell, you would need to subscribe to access the archive currently maintained by the National Storytelling Network. Next week I plan to continue with Hodja stories from there and other sites specifically from storytellers. This will give contributors a chance to say if they wish to share a story anonymously or publicly. At least one storyteller has an online video I expect to share.
Next week on Saturday, July 14, it's officially Pandemonium Day. That seems like a great way to celebrate it.
In the meantime I will include some other storytelling sites I usually recommend at the end of my Public Domain posts. Many will include the Hodja.
- There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I have long recommended it and continue to do so. He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
- You may have noticed I'm no
longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his
offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking
specific types of stories. There's another site, FairyTalez
claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales,
folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for
phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
- David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
- Karen Chace - http://karenchace.blogspot.com/search?q=public+domain
- Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
- Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
- Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ . It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016 and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
- Tim Sheppard - http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/storylinks.html
- World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links. Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job. In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it. Possibly searches maintained it. Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine. It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html. I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.