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What Is


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



on you.

 Chanchla, India

We laugh because

we are happy. 




this world

would be


Name, Title

 Perenlei Senddoo,  Mongolia

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

Ahwed, El Fayoum, Egypt 


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. 


Laughing is an expression

of an emotion, but it

also teaches at the same time."

 Malcolm, New Mexico

"In the Navajo tradition we have what we call Chi Dlo Dil, 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, NM (Navajo Nation)


”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.

 Bob, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


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." 

"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, New Mexico 


               Laughing is the smile of the world.

 Weerashon, Thailand)

 Weerashon, Thailand

Laughing is enjoyment.

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

 Turkana woman, Kakuma, Kenya

Ahwed, El Fayoum, Egypt 


We are Funny!

 Ashlyn and Sara, Queens, New York

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