Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hoja Nasruddin Vintage Soviet Film

Here is a Mulla Nasruddin story that always appealed to me as a kid:
Mulla Nasruddin's wife sent him to the store to get some yogurt. Since he was known to forget things, she told him to keep repeating it to himself till he got to the store. Mulla was rushing and saying at each step "yogurt! yogurt! yogurt!"

He jumped over a small stream and when he got to the other side, he forgot what he had been saying.

"Aye!" He screamed out. "I lost something in the stream!"

There were some people around him who thought he had dropped something by the stream and dropped what they were doing to come help him look for what it was he had lost. Some time passed and they could not get from him what it was he lost and could not find anything that could have dropped.

So a woman who had come to help said, "This is a waste of time! I need to get some yogurt and finish setting up dinner!"

At this the Mulla said, "AHA! I found it!"

Then he went on his way saying to himself at each step "yogurt! yogurt! yogurt!" leaving behind a very perplexed group of people!



Miss Talibonita is rather bad at retelling good jokes, so this may be an example of that. So lets just get to this film she found online.

Huja Nasreddin vs. Buhare

In 1943 the Soviets made a film of Mulla Nasruddin. He is always shown on his donkey and he is quite poor, since a mulla, a man of religion is not known for having lots of money. In this film, he is simply "hoja" or "Khwaja" so he has been removed of his religious position. He becomes the perfect example of the proletariat within a Central Asian context and in this film, which is in Russian, he manages to mock the Amir of Bukhara, who is shown as a cruel lazy man with a very over-sized turban!

The film is Russian without subtitles. So Miss Talibonita did not watch all of it because she still cringes a little when she sees people with her face speak Russian (sorry its anti-colonial Afghan thing!) But it was something worthy of passing along to those who speak Russian. Maybe you can send the translations!

The songs are in Uzbeki!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Huja Nasreddin vs. Buhare - it`s a mistake. "Ходжа Насреддин в Бухаре" - Huja Nasreddin v Buhare (IN the city)

"He becomes the perfect example of the proletariat" - Bullsheet! He is fighter for justice.)

"sorry its anti-colonial Afghan thing!)" - Bullsheet again! Afganistan never was a russian, soviet or british colony. But Now?

"people with her face speak Russian" - Wonderful! It`s YOUR cultural colonialism?

With communist greetings! ;)
and
Happy new year!

Miss Talibanbonita :)
(this is a joke do not worry)

Talibonita said...

That would be bullshit!

;)

Yes, its creepy when Uzbeks speak to each other in Russian. But that's only because my grandparents were all counter-revolutionaries and my paternal family line was lined up (from infants to old women) and murdered in one day. What remained of the family line was then killed in carpet bombings in Afghanistan by Soviets.

That is the history I bring when I watch films about Central Asia, with Central Asians who speak Russian.

Afghanistan was not colonized. But the Soviet-Afghan war was the attempt to be colonized and in those early years a lot was done to instill Russian language and culture into Afghans. Children were rounded up (with the pretense that it was daycare) and shipped off to Moscow without their parents knowing where their kids were sent. This was spearheaded by Babrak Karmal's wife Anahita.

So its a rather bloody cultural memory of what it means for people with my face to speak Russian.

Happy New Year!