When I first decided to give a Clap Talk in Mumbai, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In a Clap Talk, you get to share your story – about you, your country, its people, your family, friends and current topics. I also played the Question ball game with them. The Q-Ball took our conversations in exciting and meaningful directions.Andres Ojeda, Mexico
Many Clap Travellers have come away with a wildly different world view and a renewed appreciation for children’s imaginations. Below are 12 things, in no particular order, that travellers definitely take away from a Clap Talk.
1. I was in shock and awe of our cultural differences.
“What’s a normal everyday scene in my country took the children by surprise. I just showed them typical pictures of my country and one of a tree-lined street outside my house in Poland during a Clap Talk. They suddenly erupted in a collective gasp and went “WHOA WOW!” You might also be surprised at what isn’t very obvious in India.”Aleksandra Bujak, Poland
2. I could talk in broken English and they understood me
“I found that broken English was not a barrier for a hearty conversation. “I barely speak English, so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to communicate but it was an amazing experience! Children were very receptive and made me feel so comfortable. In the end, I was really happy because I felt like a child again. A smile, hug, some pictures, few beautiful words in your broken English and even a dance step was enough for everyone to bond with each other. I could also bring in a friend to translate my words to the class.”Alejandra Reich, Argentina
3. I played new games from a different country.
19-year-old Jean Lim from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had 5th graders of Trinity International School in splits with her knowledge of local games. The only wars that were fought here were with erasers and the wooden desk was their battlefield. They also played Lat Tali Tam Pom, 1 2 Jus, Pepsi Cola and Lao Ying Zhua Xiao Ji which means The Eagle and The Chicks. Jean gave a fun twist to contact sports and it became the highlight of this Clap Talk.
Posted by Clap Global on Wednesday, 10 January 2018
“Both of us learned and played local street and indoor games from our countries. Learning new game rules of a different culture in a Clap Talk could teach you how to hop, skip and jump across cultural barriers.”Jean Lim, Malaysia
4. I got treated like a celebrity.
“Not just me, many Clap travellers attest to this odd experience. After my Clap Talk, children wanted my autograph at the back of their books and their hands! It was such an odd experience and I thought I had landed in a book signing event because the kids were so fascinated and intrigued by me.”Aldara, Spain
5. I felt like my country’s brand ambassador.
“How would you feel if you came to know that you encouraged a child to visit and explore your country? Students in my Clap Talk didn’t even know Puerto Rico existed. I told them about our national animals, local frogs, flowers and bioluminescent lakes. Some kids said they would definitely want to visit Puerto Rico now after looking at the pictures. They said they want to visit me and when they come, they want to meet my family.”Carol Miranda, Puerto Rico
6. I relived my childhood and school days.
“I don’t remember the last time I was in a school! It was thrilling to be around those corridors, benches and blackboards. I watched children play tic tac toe at the back of their books, some were standing outside their class for not completing their homework, there were a lot of chits being passed, gossip being shared and anxiety over the recess bell. There was a beeline for the canteen and the crowd seemed crazy about a popular candy. While sharing my life’s journey in my country with them, I had a lot of silly fun and became nostalgic about my school days.”Natasha Berger, Phillippines
7. I answered questions I wouldn’t dare on a first meeting.
“Do you cry?”
“Are household responsibilities equally divided in your country?”
“Who was your first love?”
“What is your biggest dream?”
“I answered some thoughtful and surprising questions that I don’t normally get asked at work or home. I don’t remember the last time an adult asked me how I’d like to be remembered.”Sean Maurice, USA
8. I found out what Indian students are learning about my country.
“I noticed that students were learning our history from their textbooks but nothing about our present. I shared the current situation of refugees in my country and exchanged perspectives. I had a picture of a huge crowd gathered under a bridge in my country and asked them how many people were present. They naturally answered that there are thousands. Then I told them that they were refugees and we get these many people under the bridge every day and we don’t know how to solve the situation. The students were dumbstruck and restless for a solution. They wanted to do something about it. The teachers couldn’t hide their surprise either.”Daniel Nemet, Hungary
9. It showed me the power of dialogue in bridging two worlds.
“I was talking about Iranian culture with a classroom of 11-year-olds when a boy asked me why my country invaded Kuwait. I felt shocked at first but explained to him that it was Iraq that invaded it. I found out that the boy was carrying this random hate for my country and he didn’t have the full picture. When I explained the differences between the two countries to him, he changed as a person. The students liked to know about the Azerbaijani dance, our mountain climbing techniques and were amused to see engineers in Burqas. Before I left he said, “I’d like to visit you in your country now.”Ehsaan Hariri, Iran
10. I got to peek into tiffin boxes.
“You think your day can’t get better and then 3-year-olds feed you a bite of their tiffin lunch! after my Clap Talk, these tiny humans fed me their dabbas. Imagine eating 40 types of meals made lovingly by mothers and grandmothers for their young children and sending them off to school!”Cristina Hernandez, Spain
11. I left with mementos and memories that’ll last a lifetime.
“After a Clap Talk, students and travellers get to write heartwarming messages on “postcards” to each other. I have travelled to six cities in India so far and I still carry them wherever I go. So many kids thanked me, complimented me, promised to keep in touch and wanted to visit my country and my family.”Hanneli
12. I found that children don’t judge, only adults do.
“When kids are young, they don’t judge a lot. They are accepting and curious. By engaging in a Clap Talk, I understood that I could share so much with them and they could be more compassionate and open-minded about other cultures.”Widya Syukrona, Indonesia
If you are an international traveller or foreign resident, get instantly matched, visit a local classroom and exchange a bit of your culture.
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