Mediterranean themes can be used as assembly programs in schools, community festivals, parties or organization programs. The culture from Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Morocco,Turkey or Southern France can form the basis of these Mediterranean theme events. Decorations, foods and entertainment from the country selected should be the focal point of the function.
Planning a Mediterranen Theme Event
Select the Mediterranean country you want to use for your theme. Regardless of which country is selected, the planning procedure is similar. Arrange for a place where the event will take place. Design an invitation by finding a picture on the Internet or in a travel book that you can use for the cover of the invitation. Have these printed professionally or print them on the Internet. Send them to all people who might be interested in attending the event. Decide on how you want to decorate the place. Arrange for ethnic foods and plan entertainment that would be appropriate for the theme selected.
For a Moroccan feast, decorate the room with luxurious carpets and colorful lanterns. Floor pillows will be used for seating. If possible, invite a snake charmer, fortune teller or belly dancer to entertain the guests. Ask a henna specialist to attend and demonstrate the use of the henna in Moroccan culture. Henna is a dye used to form a temporary tatoo design on the skin. Serve chickpeas and couscous, a rice-like dish, typical of Moroccan foods. Play Mediterranean music in the background.
To recreate the atmosphere of ancient Italy, ask the guests to come dressed in togas. These costumes are made by taking sheets or large pieces of cloth and wrapping them around the body. Use grapes and vine leaves for decorations or make fake vines by twisting green crepe paper and affixing it to the walls. Decorate with pictures of Romans, gladiators and scenes from ancient Rome. Hang some toy swords and shields to add to the atmosphere. Serve rolls sprinkled with poppy-seed and honey, hot sausages, liver pate, chicken, olives, dates and grapes.
Greek Mediterranean Theme
Organize a Greek Festival. Contact the local Greek Orthodox Church for help in locating Greek entertainment. Get a Greek band to play Greek music and to accompany the entertainers. Arrange for Greek dancers to demonstrate their folk dances and invite the audience to join in group dancing. Serve Greek foods such as: souvlaki, which is a grilled meat or chicken dish; gyros, a form of pita sandwich; or baklava, a sweet dessert pastry often stuffed with nuts or cheese.
Israeli Theme Party
Decorate the room with blue and white crepe paper. Display pictures from Israeli sites such as the Dead Sea, a view of the Mediterranean Sea from Haifa, or the artist colony of Safad. Have someone organize a Hora in which all guests can dance together. Play recordings of Israeli music or arrange for live musicians. Sample typical Israeli food such as humus, which is ground chick peas, or falafel, ground garbanzo beans fried in oil and eaten in a pita bread. Include tahini, a popular Israeli spread of ground sesame seeds used as a party dip or sandwich spread, and babaganosh, a Mediterranean eggplant dish. Show some Israeli jewelry or holiday artifacts such as menorahs or Passover plates.
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Based in Bellmore, N.Y., Shula Hirsch has been writing since 1960 on travel, education, raising children and senior problems. Her articles have appeared in "Newsday," "Mature Living," "Teaching Today," and "Travel News." She holds a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University and is a retired professor of English.