The rebellion of laughter

There was a woman with a bright smile. The tyrant thought he saw between the lines of some sacred book that the laughter of women offended all creation. He therefore did not hesitate, not for a moment, to issue a supreme command in which he forbade all the women who inhabited his kingdom to laugh.

"I will be benign," he said to everyone. "You may laugh in private, where you cannot alter upright morality." But if they are seen, heard or are suspected of laughing in public, they will receive exemplary punishment. The women looked at each other and held their breath for a second. They smiled and then, without anyone being able to stop it, laughed. They didn't just laugh, they laughed:

—Kahkaha, kehkehe, kihkihi, kohkoho, kuhkuhu.

It was so loud and so loud that the women's singing laughter was joined by the laughter of sunflowers and watermelons, bells and pigeons, who were in charge of transmitting the latest news to everyone.

"Laughter has been forbidden by the tyrant: kahkaha, kehkehe, kihkihi, kohkoho, kuhkuhu," was the answer throughout the kingdom.

As is well known, laughter is highly contagious, so it was not only women, watermelons, birds, bells who laughed; the men began to laugh. They laughed with their mouths, they laughed with their eyes, with their bellies and with their hands flapped in the air ...

—Kahkaha, kehkehe, kihkihi, kohkoho, kuhkuhu.

Even the stars of millenary skies laughed with their twinkling. The tyrant, who did not give up, shouted from her pedestal:

"Women can't laugh!" Her laughter is forbidden!

But everyone kept laughing with each breath, no longer able to hear such a foolish voice. They laughed until they cried and laughed at everything and, of course, at themselves. They also laughed in writing and in all languages.

"Hahahaha, hehehehe, hihihihihi, hohohoho, huhuhuhu! ...

"Hahahahaha, hahahahahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

When the collective attack of laughter ceased, the echo of the events continued to tickle them for a long time. They all ended up with an unprecedented, weightless happiness. Laughter is rebellion, they discovered.

Needless to say, the tyrant was overthrown. Nobody wanted him to repeat his lousy bad joke just in case.

 

The story behind this story

In July 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bülent Arınç, banned the laughter of women in public. "Women don't have to laugh in public because they have to be chaste," Arınç said.

As an immediate response, Turkish women not only laughed but laughed, taking advantage of social networks and the media. On Twitter there were more than three hundred thousand messages with the term "kahkaha", the Turkish word for "laughter"; as well as the hashtags #direnkahkaha, "the laugh of the resistance" and #direnkadin, "women who resist."

 

This story of the Laughter Rebellion was taken from the book Once upon a womanby Vera Carvajal

 

Do you want to know more stories like this?

The book Once upon a woman from the author Vera Carvajal, proposes a journey through different times and geographies of humanity in the hands of intense, powerful, entirely beautiful women, capable of turning pain into hope; to tame the bloody with the word; to resist and transform; to ask and answer; to raise life in love; to change paradigms of being, of knowing, of loving, of doing.

As well as the story of the grandmothers and mothers of Plaza de Mayo, find 21 more stories of struggle and dignity.


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