Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Very Hoja Christmas

 If ever there was a conflict that epitomized the  divide between West and East, it is surely the longstanding rivalry between Santa Claus and Nasreddin Hoja. The respective merits of these two fat, jolly, bearded men have been the subject of countless cartoons and, well, more cartoons. Today, in the spirit of both the season and prevailing historiographical trends, we're pleased to feature an interpretation of this relationship emphasizing collaboration and co-mingling rather than conflict. It perhaps only fitting in light of the text's  syncretic nature that I can't say anything about the author's background - it turned up folded inside a collection of Nasreddin Hoja stories written in English, for sale in Turkey.