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They say that laughter is the best medicine


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

THEY say that laughter is the best medicine. Most of us understand laughter as a way of telling others that we are happy and want to be friends.

Teachers, preachers or trainers make their audience laugh to get their attention so that they don’t get bored and fall asleep during long lessons, sermons or lectures.

While attending a training session, the trainer decided to arouse his audience before his presentation.

“This story is from Ada’s place,” he began.

“Oh no, you’re putting me off,” said Ada, one of the participants.

Ada is from the Trobriand islands, ‘the islands of love’. I do not know why they call it this. Maybe because of the famous tapioca dances. Maybe because it is just a lovely place. Well, it is a lovely place.

“The story is about a lady at the market place,” the trainer continued.

On this particular day, a tourist ship anchored in the Trobriand islands. One of those P&O cruises, maybe Dawn Princess.

The Trobrianders welcomed the tourists with their famous tapioca dance. The girls came with their short red and white-dyed grass skirts. The boys were in tapa cloth with red laplaps. They followed their leader who was blowing a whistle to the tapioca dance beat.

A male tourist had come ashore to take photographs. Afterwards he went to the market place. A lady was selling a pot of taro mona.

Taro mona is made of taro cut into cubes and cooked in coconut cream in a clay pot. It is cooked by boiling and stirring until the cream has dried and turned into something like a pudding.

The tourist asked the woman. “What are you selling?”

Taro mona,” the lady answered.

“How do you make taro mona?’’ the tourist asked.

“We----ll,” the lady began to explain how taro mona is made.

The eyes and ears of the other sellers were now on the tourist and the lady with the mona.

“We----ll,” the mona lady continued.

Another lady sitting next to the mona lady wanted to help her friend explain how taro mona was made. She knew that her friend did not know how to speak much English and the only word or sentence she knew was “we---ll”.

“We---ll,” the mona lady said again.

The tourist was getting annoyed. He smacked his rolled up paper on a bench and said in a loud voice, “Well what?”

The mona lady’s friend startled, chimed in.

“Well, first of all the taro cook the lady.” She stopped suddenly realising she had constructed the sentence the wrong way in her head.

The tourist walked away. He was probably afraid that if he bought the taro mona, the taro would cook him.

While the participants in the training session were still laughing at ‘taro cook the lady’, the presenter decided to tell them another story.

“This story is from Dena’s area,” he said.

Two men decided to go and visit relatives at Giligili. They did not want to walk so they decided to wait for a PMV or any vehicle they could hitch a hike on. Not long after, they saw a Catholic priest’s ute approaching.

One of the men waved down the ute and ran to the driver’s side and said, “Fada! Fada! Capsize us at Giligili corner.”

“Jump on,” the priest said and drove off.

On the way the man asked his friend.

‘Hidomo, me’alena ma fada nahimata uliwei po ina hiwagita?’ (Man, why did you tell father to pour us out?)

“Well, they say laughter is a good medicine,” the presenter told the attendees who were still recovering from their laughter and wiping tears from their eyes.

“When you have stopped laughing, say thank you because you have relaxed your tired body, reduced your stress level and most of all you have passed the infection to someone near you.

“When you go outside or go home this afternoon, tell the jokes you heard to others and laugh your heads off.

“It is also good that some of you students are awake after all this laughing. The heavy lunch you had made you sleepy.”


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Dominica Are

Hahaha!! Laughter is truly a great medicine and stress reliever.

Can't stop laughing. Thanks Doreen and Daniel for the Engan one.

Raymond Sigimet

Nice one Doreen, one from me. I don't know if it's familiar.

Two friends went on a bird shooting hunt and shot three "balus" (pigeons) and a "guria". On their return, they met some tourists and their guide.

In seeing them with their catch, one tourist asked. "Your hunt was good? What do you have there, young man?"

The boy who was holding the birds replied in best way he could. "Yes, we shot three aeroplanes and one earthquake".

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

I like the two ladies smiling. And also smiling to myself. Here is one such story from Enga, Doreen.

An expatriate with some sense of humor wanted to go to Kandep and asked for directions at Niugu village on the Kandep-Laiagam junction. Not many people could speak English except one grade 6. He was a funny sort of guy - a comic character who didn't care how he pronounced english words. And he wanted payment too for being able to speak English.

He gave directions thus: 'Go to Papayuk bris (bridge) where people sell corns and kanaops (corn in Enga language - note the repetition. Go to Kandep there."

'Thank you' said the visitor.

'Now pay me for my English,' the grade 6 asked in a funny sort of way.

Of course the visitor didn't pay but took it as a joke and started to laugh. The grade 6 also laughed. And everybody else joined in and they all laughed and laughed till they cried.

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