North Korea has banned its citizens from laughing, shopping or drinking alcohol for 11 days started from December 17th. The diktat is part of North Korea’s 11 day mourning period to mark the 10thy death anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il ruled North Korea from 1994 until his death in 2011.
Authorities have also ordered the public to not show any signs of happiness while North Korea commemorates his death. There are several others factors too in which North Koreans are banned from. They are, Drinking or being intoxicated, workout, celebrating birthdays, engaging in leisure activities and engaging in shopping (not even grocery shopping).
The authorities have tasked a special squad of police officers to ensure citizens comply with the somber rules. Reports says that in the past who have found intoxicates during mourning period were taken away and never seen again. Those flouting rules during the mourning period were reportedly arrested and treated as ideological criminals. Police officers were told to watch for people who fail to look appropriately upset during the national mourning period. The police officers will also crack down on those who harm the mood of collective mourning. State-owned companies have reportedly been ordered to take care of the poor during the mourning period, as the country grapples with a food crisis.
Meanwhile, expressing extreme emotions of sadness is also frowned upon. Ordinary citizens are not allowed to perform funeral rites in case they coincide with the national mourning period. The family members of deceased person are not even allowed to cry loudly during mourning. The funeral of deceased can only be held after all the government events are over during the national mourning period.
Talking about Kim Jong-il, he was one of the founding fathers of North Korea who is also known as ‘Eternal Leader Generalissimo’. His rule is said to be one of the darkest and terrible periods in the History of North Korea, during which millions died in the 1994-1998 famine. He ruled the country from 1994 until his death in December 2011 due to a heart attack. Kim Jong-il was succeeded by his third and youngest son, current leader Kim Jong Un. The state has planned several elaborate events to commemorate Kim Jong-il’s life. The events include a photography and art exhibition, a concert, and a display of the Kimjongilia, a flower named after Kim Jong-il
There won’t be a country in the history where the citizens aren’t even free to laugh. The dictatorship in North Korea is by a dynasty. That is, a family is the one who controls the dictatorship. The family members become the next dictator. It is quite different from countries like China. In China, the dictatorship is by a party and anyone can become the member of the party. Theoretically, anyone can reach the top of the party and occupy the position of the dictator.
There are many people in North Korea who are not shocked by these rule. They follow these rules blindly and they do not think that these rules are weird. They accept it as their duty as citizens. Because, they are brainwashed to an extent that they see their dictator as a supreme leader.