North Korea bans its citizens from laughing for 11 days

Citizen says all leisure activities have been banned to commemorate 10th death anniversary of leader, Kim Jong-il

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Web Desk
People come to pay their respects before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong il to mark the 10th death anniversary of Kim Jong uns father, Kim Jong il.(AFP)
People come to pay their respects before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong il to mark the 10th death anniversary of Kim Jong un's father, Kim Jong il.(AFP)

  • There is nothing new in restriction as it is a practice in the country to observe 10th death anniversary of their leader, Kim Jong-il.
  • Citizen says all leisure activities, including laughing, drinking and grocery shopping, have also been banned during mourning.
  • Even people aren’t allowed to celebrate birthdays, cry or mourn even if someone passes away.


North Korea has restricted its citizens from laughing or showing any signs of happiness for 11 days to commemorate the 10th death anniversary of their leader, Kim Jong-il, The Hindustan Times reported.

The publication cited a news story by Radio Free Asia to confirm the ban which quoted a citizen as saying that all leisure activities, including laughing, drinking, and grocery shopping, have been banned during the mourning period.

The practice is not new as such restrictions have been imposed before too. Per the report, an anonymous North Korean citizen said that “many people who were caught drinking or drunk during the restriction were arrested and treated as ideological criminals, and were never seen again.”

This is not all about this bizarre practice because people aren’t allowed to celebrate birthdays, cry, or mourn even if someone passes away. If someone dies during the mourning period, their funerals take place after the mourning period is over. 

Generally, this mourning period continues for 10 days every year on the anniversary, but this year, it will go on for 11 days.

Kim Jong Il ruled North Korea for 17 years until his death in December 2011, passing on power to his son.

Three generations of the Kim family have ruled the country since 1948.

North Koreans are taught from birth to revere Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and all adults wear badges depicting one or both men.

In footage aired by KCTV, Kim Jong Un was seen bowing before a large portrait of his father, standing on a platform overlooking what appeared to be thousands of people on the grounds of the palace.


Additional input from AFP.