Many people are fascinated to discover how cultural traditions have evolved, with traditions from country to country being especially diverse. Turning your annual lunch service gathering or office party into a sensory tour of the globe is a great way to inspire, educate, and help employees connect with cultures other than their own. Plus, the international theme will be a welcome departure from yet another cookie-decorating party or lifeless gift exchange, and who can’t get behind that idea?
How To Throw An “Around The World”-Themed Office Party
Here’s how you can use corporate catering services and a little DIY ingenuity to make some office party magic.
- Czech Republic: Place cherry branches in tall, water-filled vases. According to Czech tradition, the blooming of these branches before certain holidays is a sign of good luck.
- Scandinavia: Children are supposed to leave their shoes on the hearth for St. Nick to fill with gold coins or small gifts. Ask guests to bring a pair of new shoes to your party; you can line them up during the festivities and donate them to a shelter afterward.
- China: The Chinese version of a Christmas tree is called a tree of light. Lay out materials for guests to personalize miniature lanterns so the tree is completed—with tons of character—as the party progresses.
- Argentina: Barbecue is a holiday tradition here—try steak on a crostini with a dab of chimichurri sauce.
- Mexico: Whether bite-sized or served buffet style, it’s all about the tamales.
- Ukraine: Ukrainians prepare a 12-course meal, but you might want to ask a meal-delivery service to bring you and your co-workers a dozen delicious dishes instead.
- India: Mango and banana with spiced coconut cream. It’s an homage to the mango and banana trees, which are used in place of pine trees to celebrate Christmas.
- The Netherlands: During some holidays children are brought wooden shoes filled with candy and cookies, but you can just hand them out as dessert.
- Great Britain: Plum pudding may be from the Middle Ages, but it’s still tasty today. The old-school version is made with suet, spices, nuts and raisins, and served with plenty of cream.
- Mexico and Central America: Swap out mulled wine for atole, a hot drink thickened with masa and seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar.
- United States: Eggnog dates back to the Jamestown settlement in 1607, when Virginia was a colony. Salute Capt. John Smith with two versions—one with plenty of rum and one without.
- Ghana: The cocoa bean is a popular crop in some parts of Africa, including Ghana. Jazz up your breakfast meal with a DIY cocoa bar with plenty of fun and interesting mix-ins such as marshmallows, chilies, peppermint sticks, and espresso powder.
- Ireland: Take inspiration from the traditional Wren Boys Procession and have guests dress up in homemade costumes and perform in a talent show.
- General: Santa has different names and different outfits in many a country. Print out pictures of St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas and friends, and have guests match the name to the country and illustration.
- General: Set up a Jeopardy-style quiz game that tests guests on different cultural traditions—all the answers will be right there in the room.
Whether you’re throwing a full-on corporate gala or a simple breakfast or one-off event, your team deserve something new and different. An around-the-world party with on-demand meals from your catering services provider is the perfect way to bring everybody together while also celebrating what makes us special.