This slideshow features over 400 photographs taken around the world, documenting the people we met and the balloon hats we made for them.
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"People can laugh when they can cooperate and share an experience together."
Ahwed Abd El Rahwan,
El Fayoum, Egypt
"We laugh because we are happy. Without laughing, this world would be dark."
"I don't know where the heck laughing comes from.
It's good for your health, I know that much. There's so much sadness in the world, it's a wonder you can even laugh at all.
Like when I lost my lady. I was 25 years with her. I cried plenty. I still wake in the morning and I think, 'Where is she?'
But life goes on. You can't go around being an old grump all the time."
"In the Navajo tradition we have what we call Chi Dlo Dil, or a Laughing Party, for a newborn. The Laughing Party is the first laugh you hear from a child. It's usually around six weeks.
It's the baby's first expression to the world, saying 'I'm ready to interact.'
Before that, the baby is still in the soft world and you aren't supposed to put anything hard and fixed on the body, or they may take on those qualities. But after the laughing party, you can give the baby jewelry or bracelets or other decorations.
At the party everybody sits around the baby and has a big meal and plays with the baby. The person who makes the baby laugh first plays an important role in the child's life."
Shiprock, New Mexico (Navajo Nation)
"Laughing means being cognizant of your surroundings. When you laugh you become a part of something---you join in, you become part of the crowd.
Sometimes the joke relates to you. It takes a little bit of humility when you can laugh at yourself---get off your high horse, relax, and let it go. It's a way of saying 'You can have this one on me. Enjoy yourself. I'll get even.'"
Malcolm E. Stitt,
Albuquerque, New Mexico