Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laughter is different

I didn't realize that the sound of a group of people laughing was a cultural sound until I arrived in Sāmoa and the sound was different.

I could be teaching a class or sitting in the teachers' lounge when I will hear another classroom erupt in laughter (this rarely happens in my class, but that is another story) and the sound is not quite right. Something is different. I cannot put  my finger on it. The sound is faster and slightly higher pitched than what I am used to.

The reason I think about it is because when laughter doesn't sound right, there is a tendency to think it is disingenuous. But I do not believe that is the case at all. It is just my palagi ears and ingrained training on what laughter should sound like not yet becoming accustomed to the new sound.

— Sara

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