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How does the character of Nasreddin Hodja change across different Muslim countries?
Greeks got him from Turks; he’s much bigger, I noticed, in Cyprus than in Greece. I don’t know enough to compare with Nasreddin in Muslim countries, but in Greek accounts he’s a promulgator of often absurdist folk wisdom. “The argument over the mattress” is a journalistic cliché in Greece.
The argument over the mattress?
Glad you asked.
One night, two people were arguing outside Nasreddin Hodja’s house. Nasreddin got fed up with the fighting, and at his wits’ end, he threw his mattress at them to shut them up.
The two people promptly ran off with his mattress.
Nasreddin returned back to his wife.
“What was that all about?” she asked.
“Oh, they were arguing over who’d get the mattress.”