India 2016: Day 6

Chai – Not just Tea

During our stay in India we take Chai breaks each morning and afternoon for about 30 minutes.  We gather together over a deliciously sweet black tea and milk drink that has given my daily “cup of joe” a run for its’ money.

As we sip Chai each day, the breaks have become our “Water-Cooler.”   We discuss plans and happenings for the day.  During today’s afternoon Chai it occurred to me that we don’t spend this amount of time weekly, let alone daily, connecting with those we work with.  In my experience, employees at most workplaces in the US take breaks for three reasons, bio-breaks, lunch – which is often a working lunch – and for some a smoke break.  The custom of Chai provides insight into how East Indians build and maintain community at work.  It is something I might welcome at my job (if only I could figure out how to have Chai and keep up with email).

- Dr. Joey Collins

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