World laughter day celebrated in India

Added On May 8, 2017

First Sunday of May each year marks the World Laughter Day. 
The celebration was initiated by Dr.Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement since 1998.
This year, laughter yoga commiunities in Mumbai celebrate the day as their daily routine, the only difference is for this special occasion, all with extra louder and harder laughters. 
A group of laughter yoga practitioners gathered in the park doing their daily exercises. 
They laugh together loudly at the same time, they seemed joyful and happy.  
A good laughter has always been a part of traditional Indian culture which people naturally bond with each other emotionally and socially.
However, as peoples' lives are getting busier and stressful, there is little time or inclination to enjoy a natural laugh.
According to recent studies, more than 13% of Indians suffer from different levels of mental illness, and stress has become an important reason behind it. 
SOUNDBITE(INDIAN): SUDHA GUPTA, Laughter Yoga Practitioner
"In today's world, people laugh less and less. In earlier times, people used to have less money. But they used to be happy and contented. There were weddings and other social occasions when all people would get together, laugh, talk and just generally be happy and relaxed. They used to be very happy. But now, we have to come here to a park and deliberately simulate laughter. but everyone here, even if we don't know each other very much, we still feel like family. No one seems like a stranger". 
Over the past couple of years, laughter yoga or breathing exercises that deliberately simulate laughter have become popular in India. 
Laughter yoga adopts a body-mind approach to laughter. Participants laugh physically at anytime they want instead of by jokes or at the time they feel happy. It fakes laugh until it becomes real. 
This continuous laughter brings more oxygen to the body and brain, strengthen positive feelings, make the immune system strong and even improve one's interpersonal skills. 
"I just came for a walk here. And i recognized that all are doing, then why can't we do . So I came in the group, joined in the group and I am feeling relief from that. And I am going home and I'm feeling that I have learned something. So I am happy now. And laughter exercise is good for health, for cardio, blood pressure, its good for back pain, everything. I learnt from there ". 
Laughter yoga was created in India in the mid 1990's. It then quickly grew as a sort of grassroots social movement with community laughter clubs coming up all across India. 
Different laughing exercises are generated eversince the community grew. 
"We make participants do these laughter yoga exercises. All these exercises combine laughter with other basic yoga movements. People find it more fun and easier to do yoga  when there is laughter involved. We make them do exercises covering the whole body from head to toe. Health problems of cervical, bones, nerves, these exercises are beneficial for all these. We even do a lot of breathing exercises here which are also good for people with heart problems".
"World Laughter Day was founded by an Indian doctor and its now gaining popularity worldwide. Local communities in India have been practicing laughter yoga for years now, celebrating the positive power of a good laugh and tapping into the many health benefits of laughter yoga".