800 clowns gather in Mexico City for convention

    5:34 AM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
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    MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- Eight hundred brightly-dressed clowns from around the world converged in Mexico City on Wednesday for the 17th International Clown Convention. The convention's theme was peace through laughter.

    They gathered at Mexico City's Mother's Monument and then set about laughing and guffawing for a full 15 minutes, hoping that a world with more laughter will have less time for violence.

    "We held 'laugh for peace' to speak out against violent conflicts, especially the internal conflicts in Mexico. We don't want violence, and we hope we can make more people love peace and learn to smile more often," said Llantom, Chairman of the Mexico Clown Association.

    However, working as a clown has its difficulties. A professional clown has to learn a lot, including makeup and performance skills, acrobatics, walking on stilts, and child psychology.

    "We should be dressed brightly. In addition, we should bring joy to others unconditionally. When we're performing for people who are in low moods, we try our best to help them put their worries behind and smile again. But it's not that easy," said Bekini, a clown from Guatemala.

    The four-day convention has attracted over 1,000 clowns to trade jokes, swap ideas and pick up new skills in various events.

    Clowns are an important part of Mexican culture. The country has about 10,000 clowns, 70 percent of them male. They participate in all kinds of festival activities, such as carnival street parades and parties, to bring laughter to others.

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