Known as the "laughter leader" among her friends and students, Mrs Zareena Bana is the co-chairperson of the Joo Chiat East Coast Laughter Club, and the founder of Laughter Club Singapore. Having visited Mumbai five or six years ago, her interest in laughter therapy grow over the years and prompted her to start the first ever laughter club in Singapore. Currently, there are over 100 members in the Joo Chiat East Coast Laughter Club, including doctors, teachers and students.
The infectious nature of laughter has not spared the corporate world either. Organisations such as Rotary Club of Singapore, Singapore Power and Hewlett Packard are just some of the organisations that have taken laughter seriously. These organisation engage in the services of Mrs Bana to spread the spirit of laughter by conducting a laughter workshop for their staff.
The following are two news articles adapted from The Straits Times.
Laughter Clubs Multiply in Singapore after Expertís Visit
Laughter clubs in Singapore have multiplied since a visit from an Indian laughter expert.
Dr Madan Kataria visited Singapore last year - and since then several clubs have appeared with members practising lion laughs, swinging laughs, one-metre laughs and teh tarik laughs.
The clubs are now hoping to attract new members before they celebrate World Laughter Day in May.
Laughter club instructor Thomas Peh said many members are still shy of laughing in front of other people.
He told The Straits Times: "The older Chinese folks, particularly housewives, are not used to laughing for no reason. Many women cover their mouths when they laugh and keep asking me not to laugh so loudly."
But Danny Singapuri, of the East Coast Laughter Club, said: "Everyone goes through a phase of shyness at first. But this is one exercise that is really contagious, no matter what your race or religion."
Adapted from The Straits Times
10:08 Tuesday 9th January 2001