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FMA Students Visit India

FMA Students Visit India
Posted on 03/22/2016

In keeping with the Fletcher Maynard Academy tradition of international travel open to all students, friends, and faculty we travelled to Mumbai, Goa, and Delhi in India during February vacation week in 2016. Meeting FMA parents Jonathan and Ulka Anjaria, who are on sabbatical in Mumbai with their twins, 3rd grade boys, Rahaan and Naseem at the airport was a treat. The third-graders who travelled with us were thrilled to be back in the company of the Anjaria boys.  

Mumbai has some very old buildings, and also many modern buildings along the shoreline. During our time in Mumbai we learned the word “slum” doesn’t always have a negative connotation. We visited the Dharavi slum, which is one of the largest slums in the world. Dharavi has an active informal economy and community that exports goods such as leather, pottery, and textiles all over the world. The people of Dharavi, a multi-religious, multi-ethnic diverse settlement have pride in being part of generations that have lived there. A little like the pride of the “Area 4/Port” residents of Cambridge.

After three wonderful and hectic days in Mumbai, we had three relaxing days at the shore in Goa, and another three days in New Delhi and Old Delhi. 

Currently, India has two leaders, a Prime Minister and a President. While visiting New Delhi we had the opportunity to visit the residence of President Rashtrapati Nilayam. We even got a glimpse of the President from afar. During our tour, he returned home at the same time we were visiting his home library. What a delight!

ElephantOur visit to India gave us a first hand opportunity to delve into the wide range of religious communities. We visited temples, shrines, and churches linked to Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Christianity. We also got to experience a Sikh, soup kitchen.

Among other events, we visited Mahi Bhavan, the house where Mahatma Ghandi stayed when he lived in Mumbai, and learned all about his life and history at the museum. Gandhi was the primary leader of India’s independence movement and like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr organized a non-violent civil disobedience movement that helped to influence the world.

One of the highlights of the trip (although there were many) was a trip to the Sahakari Spice Farm, where we learned about the variety of spices grown in India. We now know a bit more about: cardamom, pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon. While at the farm we rode elephants and were able to help give them refreshing baths in the river!

By all accounts from students, parents, and community members that traveled with the school, the trip to India was fantastic! Next year we are off to Spain.

View more information and pictures from the trip >>