Our Recipe for Unity
School cafeteria

Tuna and Tiffins

Back in elementary school, we had a monthly “lunch swap” where you were encouraged to bring in a special lunch to be swapped with someone. I ended up swapping with Jeremy, a boy I’d seen in my social studies class. I was nervous; I’d never shared Indian food with anyone at school. He swapped his bag of a tuna sandwich, an apple, and cookies for my tiffin of rice, chicken curry, and vegetable salad. While I liked the cookies and apple (it’s when I discovered honeycrisp apples, my favorite fruit to this day), I couldn’t stomach the tuna sandwich; the bread and mayo were too sweet for me (I didn’t know how sweet American food can be!), but that didn’t matter; Jeremy never noticed, since he was quickly gobbling down the chicken and rice. I was jealous that he got to eat my chicken curry, and everyone else around him seemed to be, too. I appreciated how much he liked the food, and how his enjoyment of the food sparked curiosity in my classmates; I was afraid my peers would comment on the smell or the weird lunchbox. Jeremy and I never got too close, but we definitely had a certain connection and newfound mutual respect after that.

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