Sokong Team
Wed May 08 2024

School kids help fire up the 16th JB-World Laughter Day Celebrations

Arts & Culture
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Hundreds of participants laughed throughout the Skudai area of Johor Bahru on 5 May as the Johor Bahru Happy and Joyous Club celebrated its 16th JB-World Laughter Day.

For the first time, children from four schools in the area: Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Kuo Kuang 2, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Taman Tun Aminah, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Sutera and Sekolah Pendidikan Khas (School for Special Needs children), Skudai joined in the fun.

They were at first apprehensive, but as the events unfolded, joyous laughter and screams were elicited from them; wildly when they cheered on their schoolmates contesting for the Laughter Prince & Princess, and also the contest for the Laughter King & Queen.

The schools represented the three main ethnic groups of the peninsula and children with special needs.

YB Marina Ibrahim, the State Assemblyperson for Skudai and guest of honour at celebrations and who participated enthusiastically in all the events, was credited with helping the school children attend the event.

YB Marina on Stage.jpeg

Cikgu (teacher) Meena of SJKT Taman Tun Aminah said that her students were initially curious about the event, "but when they got here and started participating in the programmes put together, I could see they were excited and happy to participate," she said.

Indeed, one of their schoolmates, Rukesh Roa, 11, won the Laughter Prince category.

"I'll be sure to implement laughter sessions in my classes and will also recommend it to my colleagues at assemblies," said Cikgu Meena, a sports teacher at the school.

Laughter Princess went to Haley Chow, 12 of SJKC Kuo Kuang 2.

Laughter Prince_Princess_11zon.jpeg

Teachers, Izzati and Izma Eryani from SMK Taman Sutera brought 50 pupils led by the teacher in charge of the school's counselling programme.

The pupils represented a significant number who are in the school's PRS (Pembingan Rakan Sebaya) programme, a Ministry of Education initiative that focuses on fostering strong character and unity among students through peer support.

Both teachers agree that laughter yoga activities will help reduce stress among students.

In the adult category, Lai Yoon Moon, 57, won the title of Laughter King and Goh Sook Hong, 54, bagged the title of Laughter Queen.

Laughter Queen_11zon.jpeg

Dr. Madan Kataria initiated the Laughter Yoga movement with his wife, Madhuri, in 1995; now, thousands of practitioners are in over 120 countries.

Johor Bahru Happy and Joyous Club Founder and current secretary, Fung Lee Jean said this year's rallying call is 'world peace through laughter' to promote health and raise awareness about its benefits.

The Club promotes Laughter Yoga in the country, and Fung is its Master Trainer here, the only one in the country.

In a message read out to participants of the celebration and translated to Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin and Tamil, Dr. Kataria said:

"Laughter brings about personal transformation, which can lead to positive changes in the world. The key lies in inner transformation, which is essential for affecting change in the external world."

Dr. Kataria said in the statement that conflicts worldwide mirror the internal battles occurring within individuals. Unconditional laughter can alter people's internal chemistry, uplift spirits, improve overall well-being, and lead to a peaceful world.

Laughing King (1)_11zon.jpeg

A participant, Mr. Subramaniam, came all the way from Ipoh to join the celebration. He believes that Laughter Yoga has contributed to his health and well-being.

"When you laugh, your energy levels rise, and your calories burn up very fast, too," he said.

Enthusiastic about the benefits of Laughter Yoga, after a year of adopting it in his daily routine, he underwent training and graduated as a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader on 21 January, by Johor Bahru Happy and Joyous Club at their Fun Centre in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru.

While Mr. Subramaniam is relatively new to Laughter Yoga, Mr. Taramaraju has been a practitioner for over 10 years and has undergone leader and teacher training.

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"I won the 2nd Malaysia Laughter Championship in 2022, organised by Johor Bahru Happy and Joyous Club, of which I am a member. I also represented Malaysia in 2022 at the World Laughter Championship and won the Sad Happy Laugh Category," he said. Additionally, Mr. Taramaraju continued to represent the country in 2023, spreading laughter across borders.

Mr. Taramaraju hosts the TJ Laughter Group, an online mobile laughter club known as the Clubhouse. The club conducts two eight-minute laughter sessions daily at 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., with breaks for rejuvenating breathing exercises.

Named after Mr. Taramaraju and his laughter partner, Junko, from Hokkaido, Japan, the club boasts participants from around the globe. Remarkably, it has been running for 1,500 days since its inception during the peak of the pandemic.

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As the jubilant sounds of the drum circle reverberated through Skudai, marking the culmination of the two-hour celebration, it was evident that the spirit of joy and camaraderie ignited by the event would continue to resonate far beyond its conclusion, enriching the lives of all who had gathered to embrace the transformative power of laughter.

Spread the gift of joy and happiness by supporting the Johor Bahru Happy and Joyous Club. Click here to donate through Sokong and help bring smiles to many faces.

by malaysiakini

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