The 89th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, airs live at 7:00 pm EST and 6:00 p.m. CST on ABC. Check out the full list of nominees here. With various foreign film nominations this year, being aware of the diverse cultures pervading film media is important. Whether you are hosting an Oscars party or not, consider these ways to challenge yourself and your friends to broaden your cultural awareness in honor of Oscar Sunday:
- Foreign Films: Challenge your friends to see a foreign film nominated for the Oscars before attending the party. It’s important to be exposed to films directed by and filmed in various cultures. International actors and actresses share invaluable talent with the world. Many communities live in a melting pot of diverse cultures.
- Conversation Starters: Prepare some talking points about how a movie made you feel or think about the subject differently. Media is a lens through which we may view the world. Discuss how a film or scene represents current events or contemporary society.
- Interactive Games: Include fun icebreaker games with guests contributing a fun fact about their family culture. Vote for most unique appetizer, dish, and dessert. Include prizes, such as Oscar Star trophies. Have a jeopardy game on a projector screen with topics including Oscar-nominated films, actors, and directors
- Photo Fun: Set up a photobooth with international landmarks and provide country-specific props for the photos. For example, provide a beret to pair with a French background.
- Diverse Menu: Preparing or bringing a dish? Branch out and bring some diversity to the scene. Consider interesting cuisine representing an aspect from a nominated film, such as French, German, Iranian, Japanese, or Portuguese fare and stretch your palate.
- Diverse Beverages: Try to include Latin American coffee; French & Italian Wine; Japanese Sake; and beer from Ireland/ Belgium/ Germany. If providing cocktails mix it up with Mexican Margarita; Brazilian Caipirinha; and Russian vodka shots served with a slice of cucumber. Next to each drink, provide a small card with an explanation of how it is consumed in its native country.
What are your ideas for a culturally savvy Oscars party? Please share your thoughts so we can post them for our followers. Enjoy the Oscars, which will be televised live in more than 225 countries and economies worldwide!
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.