a legendary wise man and wit in the folklore of many peoples of the Near and Middle East and Middle Asia. He is known as Haji Nasreddin and Bu Adam among the Turks, Afandi or Nasreddin Khodzha among the Uzbeks and Tadzhiks, Mullah among the Iranians, and Molla Nasreddin among the Azerbaijanis. He is also known to the Kazan and Crimean Tatars and to peoples of the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, including Rumanians and Serbs.
Khodzha Nasreddin is referred to variously as the contemporary of the 14th-century monarchs Tamerlane and Bayazid I and the early 13th-century Seljuk sultan Alâeddin. In Kazakhstan, the figure of Khodzha Nasreddin has mingled with that of the jokester Aldar-Kose. In Turkmenia many jokes link him with the satirical poet Kemine, and in Tadzhikistan he is identified with the poet Mushfiki. Jokes about Khodzha Nasreddin usually have significance for everyday life. As a traditional folk hero, Khodzha Nasreddin remains a defender of justice, using laughter to combat social evils.
A satirical journal in Azerbaijan, edited by Dzh. Mamedkulizade, was named after Nasreddin. L. V. Solov’ev wrote The Tale of Haji Nasreddin (part 1, Disturber of the Peace, 1940; part 2, The Enchanted Prince, 1954). This work was adapted into the films Nasreddin in Bukhara (1943), The Adventures of Nasreddin (1947), and Nasreddin in Khodzhent, or The Enchanted Prince (1960).
REFERENCEGordlevskii, V. A. Izbr. soch., vol. 2. Moscow, 1916. Pages 339–49.