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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

Clowns: Bringing Laughter and Joy! Part 2 of 2

Language:English,Mandarin Chinese(中文)


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In the first part of our show we learned that there are three types of circus clowns. The first clown is the whiteface clown, who is also known as clown blanc in French. When performing with other clowns, the whiteface clown usually acts as the leader. The second clown is the red clown or Auguste (Dummer August) character who was developed by Tom Belling senior around 1870, to compete with the white clown. The Auguste is a happier clown than the whiteface clown. Oversized suspenders are also usually worn with their costumes.

There are three types of character clowns, the Hobo, Tramp, and Bum. Artists like Otto Griebling, Emmett Kelly, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Rowan Atkinson, and Sacha Baron Cohen can be classified as character clowns.

Arguably the most famous clown in entertainment history is none other than Bozo the Clown. The custom of having a Bozo clown entertain children became popular during the 1960s and 1970s. This subsequently inspired the introduction of Clown Care, in the mid-1980s. Dr. Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams is an American physician, author, social activist, comedian, and the first hospital clown. The great success of the hospital has inspired many countries around the world to open their own clown doctor programs. Amid the ruins of the Gaza Strip, a group of Palestinian youth dressed up as clowns to bring fun and laughter to grieving children, whose festival mood had been dampened by the ongoing conflict there. Sometimes an Enlightened Master even has to take on the role of playing clown to benefit others.

Our most beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai once said the following: “Well, I tried to make you feel happy. I took care of you all day, then acted like a clown to make you laugh. I was so tired when I got back to my room. Suddenly I felt a little unhappy and lonesome, then I didn't feel well either, as though I was on fire.” In 1991, when in Japan, Supreme Master Ching Hai painted the pastel color painting “The Clown.” There is profound meaning in the picture. She used bright and lively colors on the right side of the clown, and dark and dull colors on the left. This reveals the true nature of the clown: always happy on the outside but sometimes very lonely on the inside.
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