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600 People Laugh Their Sorrows Away
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Around 600 people gathered for a "laughing party" organized by 67-year-old Zhong Yuanxiang in a square in Chongqing city on Sunday. Some 70 percent of the party-goers were senior citizens.

The first 10 minutes of the party passed chuckle-free until an 80-year-old man dressed as Santa Claus broke the ice with a funny song. The audience cracked up and the merriment lasted for the rest of the hour.

The party was the first "laugh club" event Zhong Yuanxiang has organized. Zhong thought he would never smile again after he lost his beloved wife in May, but changed his mind after reading about a man in Shenzhen who relieves his anxieties and sorrows by laughing aloud in a park. Zhong was so impressed he decided to set up his own laughter club to help people forget their sorrows.

(CRI November 13, 2006)


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