How can Navajo be learned

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Whoever makes the baby laugh first, organizes the party

24.10.2017



"Has your baby already laughed?"
 
This is a very common question asked parents at Navajo meetings. Especially those who have babies around three months of age. Because when a Navajo baby laughs for the first time, the family throws a party - the "ceremony of the first laugh".
 
The honor of organizing such a party (and bearing the costs :-) is given to a very special person: The person who made the child laugh for the first time.
 
The belief
The Navajo Indian popular belief is that when a baby is born, it comes from two worlds at the same time. Those of the saints - the "Diyin Din’ee" and those of the people. As time goes by, the adults wait to hear the child's first giggle. As a sign of joy and also for the fact that it is now ready to fully join its earth family. The legends say that when the soul laughs, the soul definitely passes from the mystical to the physical world and the child has now fully arrived in our world.
 
As soon as a baby laughs, it starts "Training of Generosity", which is of great importance to the Navajo: The Indians are of the opinion that the child absorbs the qualities of the person who makes the baby giggle, or who witnesses his first laugh. Therefore, it becomes the task of this person to prepare the meal, collect rock salt, pack sweets and sweets in bags and above all to invite friends from near and far.
 
The planning
As with any other celebration, the menu is prepared, a date is set and a guest list is written at this party. Often the crowd is mixed culturally as well as religiously. You can meet Navajos, Americans and Canadians - indigenous people as well as immigrants. Shepherds, pastors, political leaders, computer programmers, teachers and carpet weavers can be present at the same time.

And they will all have one thing in common: They will celebrate a baby's first laugh - called "A’wee Chi’dedloh".
 
The ceremony
The baby, who is seen as the host and whose hand is held by the organizer, hands over the rock salt, the food and the gifts to each individual guest upon arrival. The rock salt is consumed immediately, then the plate with the food is accepted and finally the bags with sweets, money or other gifts are "handed over" by the child.
 
The meaning
After this fancy baby shower, both the host and the baby learned an important lesson - generosity. Because genuine generosity and love, the Navajo are certain, can neither be demanded, made nor forced. You can only flow from an easy heart to spread joy among others.
 
And we, too, think it's an excellent idea to dedicate a party to this special occasion. Because what sounds nicer than the happy laugh of a little baby?

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