Is Laughter Yoga Really from India?

100 Years Ago, Entrepreneurial Immigrants Sold Spiritual Exercises to Wide-Eyed Americans

There’s nothing particularly funny about a laughing club, except the premise. I first heard of laughing clubs when they appeared on the American radar about a decade ago. I might not have paid attention if it wasn’t for the fact that laughing clubs are supposedly Indian, started by a doctor named Madan Kataria, also known as the “Guru of Giggling.” I was editing a California-based Indian-American magazine at the time; it was my job to think critically about the representation of India and Indians in the United States. “On the …

The Historical Nexus Between Immigration and Health

Despite Being Blamed for Bringing Diseases, Immigrants Have Always Brought New Understandings of Health to America

Alan Kraut is a historian at American University who has studied the nexus of immigration and health for many years. Zócalo spoke to Professor Kraut to understand the role history …

More and More Californians Are Living with Their Grandmas

Once Mostly an Immigrant Practice, Multigenerational Living Reduces Stress and Lengthens Lives

Thump-thump-thump! Thump-thump-thump!

Out on the deck one morning, my 80-year-old mother dribbles her basketball. It’s a pastime she picked up in recent years to maintain her agility. My 7-year-old twins join …

How Understanding Immigrants Could Help All Americans Live Better

Newcomers Have Healthier Habits Than the Native-Born—And Should Be Emulated

Four decades ago—around the time the Office of Management and Budget set guidelines to include questions on Hispanic ethnicity across the whole federal statistical system—researchers began noticing that Latinos seemed …

The Small California Farm Town That Puts Kids First

Against All Odds, Gonzales—Population 9,000—Offers Services That Touch the Lives of All Its Young People

What if California actually decided to put the needs of its poor kids first? What would that look like?

Here’s one answer: it might look like Gonzales, a small city of …

How Cesarean Births Became a ‘Global Epidemic’

Reliance on New Obstetric Technology and Lawsuit-Averse Doctors Made Traditional Birth Seem More Risky Than C-Sections

Almost one in three births in the United States today is by cesarean section—a dramatic change from a century ago when physicians avoided the surgery whenever possible. Doctors remained so …