Here is an interesting report from Dr. Annelie Gareis and Thomas Topolanek, two volunteering Laughter Yoga teachers at Laughter University in Bangalore, who went on a discovery trip to Mysore, a beautiful city in South India.
Annelie and Thomas: Our Indian driver brought us safely to Mysore. On the way we came in touch with local food, having breakfast in a traditional restaurant. Until now, we had always been protected from spicy food on the LYIU campus as our cooks always prepared Indian food "European style". But henceforth, everything would be 100 percent local!
The hotel in Mysore was nice and cozy and a perfect location to rest in between our discoveries. Everywhere we were impressed by fantastic temples, the famous palace which we visited by day and which was illuminated at night. We walked through traditional bazaars, vibrant shopping streets and silk stores. We didn't miss out the biggest Indian Catholic church and also its spooky catacombs.
We were truly impressed by the peaceful living together of human beings of at least three religions. Sacred sites from Hinduism, mosques and Christian churches were a significant proof of this coexistence. As tourists of Europe and South America we were totally amazed.
On our visit to the beautiful Mysore zoo, we were pleasantly surprised to see many visitors trying to catch our attention. They had secretly positioned their cameras in our direction, and when we began to laugh, they too started laughing. Seeing their enthusiasm, Thomas and I made room on the bench we sat on and invited them one after another to sit between us and take photos. This set off an avalanche! The Indians were impressed by Thomass colorful t-shirt and his height of 2 meters. We giggled a lot together and took some of the best photos ever.
Laughing together we attracted even more people. It went on and on and we felt that all differences between cultures, status and origins, dissolved in laughter and pure joy. The most important thing for us was sharing and connecting with the Indian people. This was definitely the highlight of our Mysore trip.