It has been quite some time since our team was able to all be together. In that spirit, we wanted to show the world how we like to have fun at Wilcox and remember some great times! Culture Day is a new initiative, but also a very important initiative for us. With such a multi-cultural team, it was important that we celebrated that! Diversity is so important at Wilcox, and to learn more about our initiatives click here to see our Diversity page.
The first Culture Day we had was Caribbean Day. This fuzed together backgrounds from Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and Columbia. This team wanted to go all out when it came to decorations, food, traditions and education.
With so many diverse backgrounds, it was hard to squeeze so much culture into just one meal!
From the Trinidadian side, we had:
- Doubles- Doubles are a common street food originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Doubles are made with two baras (flat fried dough) and filled with curry channa (curried chickpeas) and various chutneys.
- Pone- Pone is a rich, dense pudding made with sweet cassava, pumpkin and coconut.
From the Jamaican side, we had:
- Variety of Patties- There were multiple patties, from beef, chicken and vegetarian to meet all dietary needs of our employees.
- Jerk Chicken- A staple of the Jamaican diet that everyone has at least tried!
- Macaroni Pie- Macaroni pie is common throughout all of the Caribbean cultures.
- Sorrel- Sorrel Drink is dark red, a little sour, with a raspberry-like flavour; made from the petals of sorrel plant (flor de Jamaica)” or hibiscus plant flower as popularly known in West Africa.
From the Guyanese side, we had:
- Curry Chicken- This dish was introduced to to the West Indies by indentured Indian workers. The dish is very similar to the chicken curry dish of India, consisting mostly of sauce with few chicken pieces, but with several more spices.
- Rice & Peas- derived from the Ghanaian rice based dish Waakye, which derived from enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic slave trade.
From the Columbian side, we had:
- Empanadas- comes from the Spanish verb empanar which means to bread or to stuff. The history of these Spanish stuffed pies dates back to when the Muslims occupied Spain.
The focus of our decor was using Carnival (Caribana in Toronto) outfits and putting them around the office. We also outfitted the office with the flags of our nations.
The music was representative of all our nations. There was calypso, salsa, dancehall, reggae and more! All members from the teams added to the playlist.
As a group we built an informative presentation that went over the following:
- The history of each Nation- how each nation came to be what it is today
- Geography- what is unique about each nation and what are some major landmarks you must see if you go there
- Religion- what religions are commonly found in each nation
- Economy- what are the main drivers of each nation’s economy
- Traditions- what some of the main celebrations are for each nation
- Typical foods- what some of the traditional foods are in each nation
- What it was like growing up with that culture- some of our members may be 2nd generation at this point, but we all had memories and stories of what it was like growing up in our cultures
The Traditions & Competitions
There were two areas we focused on with traditions and competitions to get our team involved.
Firstly, from the Columbian side, there was an excellent socially distanced salsa lesson in our shop. Here everyone was able to have a 30 minute salsa lesson and learn more about the importance of dance in the Columbian culture.
Hot Sauce Competition
Secondly, all of the other nations have an affinity with spice and spicy foods. To mirror this, we held a 5 level socially distanced hot sauce competition! There were 10 competitors in total, and 2 winners that made it all the way to the final level!
Though we had fun as an office staff it was important to us to include our Service Technicians. It is often difficult to bring them into the office all the time for these celebrations, so we decided to bring the culture day to them. We created bagged lunches with all of our culture day foods so they could take them on the road and be a part of our celebration!