How do we achieve world peace?

Based on the postcards from the students we spoke to, the answer is… food.

All kinds of food!

“King Cake!”
“Pani Puri!”
“Jambalaya!”
“Paneer!”
“Poboys!”
“Dosa!”

These were the words tossed back and forth across the classroom packed with children, teachers, Clap Global staff, the school’s principal, and us, two American presenters who had no idea what amazing, beautiful experience we were getting ourselves into.

Upon arrival in Mumbai, we were stranded in the airport with two backpacks, anxiously waiting for customs to clear our entry into the country so that we could get to work.

We had originally planned to volunteer with a local NGO, but within 24 hours of arrival, that plan had disintegrated. So, searching for meaningful work to do whilst in India, we began to scour the internet for ideas. Every avenue we went down seemed to be a dead end… until we found a poster in our hostel.

Travellers giving a Clap Talk? In a classroom? What even is that?

To be honest, we didn’t know, but we signed up anyway. As two teachers who had been deprived of a classroom for the past few months, we didn’t need to know the details. We were in!

What happened next was even better than what we had hoped for—we walked into an hour of intercultural dialogue with a bunch of brilliant minds, joyfully discussing the foods, festivals, and experiences of our respective communities.

We exchanged the details of Mardi Gras and Ganesh Chaturthi. We laughed at one of the best jokes ever told (What do you call a fish with no eyes? A FSHHHHHHHH!). We discussed immigrant rights and exchanged ideas on creating a more accepting world. We shouted the names of our favourite sports teams and learned new words. And, for longer than some may recommend, we babbled about all of the foods that New Orleans and Mumbai has to offer.

The conclusion of our dialogue came with one final exchange—postcards. We wrote a farewell note to the class while each child addressed their own to us.

We walked away from our Clap Talk knowing that we would soon be completing another (and another, and another) and with the thought that no tourist activity can top a classroom, period.

Are you a traveller in India or have plans to travel to India? Sign up and have your own first Clap Talk experience here!

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