Magno writes from Tbilisi where he and a young group of Georgians organised various event.
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I was in India running a Laughter Yoga workshop during Holi, the celebration where people throw coloured powders at each other, when I sent a photo of me full of Holi colours to my friends. They liked it so much that the idea came to celebrate the World Laughter Day in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 3rd May 2015. It would be full of music, colours, balloons and carnival accessories. An organising group was created, all young people. They called themselves ‘Positives’.
I rushed to Georgia and – out of the blue, absolutely unexpectedly and untypically for what the local mentality is concerned (Georgia is on place 134 in the scale of the world’s happiest countries…) – a big event unfolded, right in front of the Government building.
It became a great, unique event; around 1000 people gathered in Tbilisi’s main street to celebrate the Laughter Carnival. 10 kilos of special Holi colours that we had imported from India, 1000 balloons and accessories, dancing Flash Mobs and dance music helped to create the right climate.
We ‘sold’ sweets, balloons, cookies, lollies, drinks, in exchange of just a few seconds of laughter. This created a unique way of relating and many funny situations came out of it. The place was buzzing with joy for three hours.
Media and television took a great interest in these events, filmed and reported about them. People’s response was so joyful. Laughter itself is so contagious that even skeptical people could not help being infatuated. They laughed, danced and celebrated with us.
The carnival was supported by a conference about Laughter and Positive Psychology the day before. 300 people had come together in a 5-star hotel and several speakers contributed on the value of Positive Psychology. I was the last speaker and, to finish the conference, proposed a laughter meditation to which the audience responded wonderfully.
Another outcome of this event: we held several laughter seminars and workshops in different organisations and the ‘Positives’ organised flash mobs around Tbilisi. The biggest impact had the Laughter Café; the parents of a young Positive opened a Café where every Monday people pay for their food and drinks with laughter. This is an event which makes the Café very popular and the young Positives meet there regularly.
People who have gathered around me are learning how to be more happy, how to be more meditative, how to laugh more, live more, love more, and spread love, laughter around the world. This is the only protection against nuclear weapons.”
Osho, Hari Om Tat Sat: The Divine Sound – That Is the Truth
20th July 2015, Laughter in Café StARTup, Tbilisi, Georgia
Text by Magno
Magno Shavdia grew up in Georgia and studied Arts and Mathematics at the Uni of Tbilisi. He read his first book by Osho when Georgia was still part of the Soviet Union (the book was handwritten!). He came to Pune together with other members of the Tbilisi Meditation Centre, met Madita and later moved with her to Cologne where they are still living together, next door to the UTA Centre. laughteryoga.at