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What Did The Avar Say To The Dargin?


Great piece from Ellen Barry in "The New York Times" about ethnic jokes in Daghestan.

It starts with an almost Borat-esque anecdote:

A funny thing happened to Magomedkhan M. Magomedkhanov, an ethnographer from the Russian republic of Dagestan, on a recent visit to the United States. Surrounded by distinguished colleagues at Harvard University and sensing that there was only one way to put everyone at ease, he dusted off a favorite joke about a Jew in a pit full of wild animals.

As the silence congealed into something approximating hostility, Mr. Magomedkhanov was reminded that he was no longer in Dagestan.

And there's plenty of Avar jokes in there as well.

An Avar is carrying a wounded Dargin off the battlefield. The Dargin entreats his friend to leave him behind, lest they both be killed, and asks the one favor of shooting him so he does not suffer. The Avar, finally convinced, pulls out his firearm but finds he has no ammunition. The Dargin roots in his pockets and pulls out a bullet. “I’ll sell it to you,” he says.

Read the full piece here.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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