We asked people around the world, “What is Laughing? Where does it come from and what does it mean?”

 

 

 

"Laughing is a celebration of the good,

and it's also how we deal with the bad. Laughing, like crying, is a good way of eliminating toxins from the body.

 

Since the mind and body are connected, you use an amazing amount of muscles when you laugh."

Gerry

Venice Beach, California

 "I happy on you!"

 

 Chanchla

Varansi, India

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"We laugh because we are happy. 

 

Without laughing, this world would be dark."

- Perenlei Senddoo

Mongolia

"People can laugh when they can cooperate and share an experience together."

Ahwed

El Fayoum, Egypt

 Bob, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"If you can't laugh, there's something wrong. You gotta let it out. If you didn't laugh it would be all bottled up. Then it'd probably come out as anger instead of laughter."

Sherri

Flint, Michigan

"In our way, life is harsh

but is supposed to be enjoyable too.

Our old folks tell stories and they laugh

and enjoy themselves. 

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Laughing is an expression of an emotion,

but it also teaches at the same time."

Oliver

Wounded Knee, South Dakota

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"In the Navajo tradition we have what we call Chi DloDil, or a Laughing Party, for a newborn.  The Laughing Party is the first laugh you hear from a child. It's usually around six weeks.

 

It's the baby's first expression to the world, saying 'I'm ready to interact.'

 

 Before that, the baby is still in the soft world and you aren't supposed to put anything hard and fixed on the body, or they may take on those qualities. But after the laughing party, you can give the baby jewelry or bracelets or other decorations.

 

 At the party everybody sits around the baby and has a big meal and plays with the baby. The person who makes the baby laugh first plays an important role in the child's life."

Nancy

Shiprock, New Mexico (Navajo Nation)

"Laughing means being cognizant of your surroundings. When you laugh you become a part of something---you join in, you become part of the crowd.

 

 Sometimes the joke relates to you. It takes a little bit of humility when you can laugh  at yourself---get off your high horse, relax, and let it go. It's a way of saying 'You can have this one on me. Enjoy yourself. I'll get even.'"

Malcolm

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 Bob, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"Laughing

is the smile

  of the world."

 

Weerashon

Thailand

”I don't know where the heck laughing comes from. There's so much sadness in the world, it's a wonder you can even laugh at all.

Like when I lost my lady. I was 25 years with her.

I cried plenty. I still wake in the morning and

I think, 'Where is she?'

 

But life goes on. You can't go around being an old grump all the time."

Bob

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 Bob, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"Laughing is enjoyment.

This is very strange. I have never seen this before. It looks like feathers."

Turkana woman

Kakuma, Kenya

 Bob, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"We are funny!"

Sara and Ashlynn

Queens, New York