Embrace the mosaic that is Australia's workforce with these wonderful ways to celebrate Harmony Day at the office.
We're an incredibly diverse nation, here in Australia, and with that comes colourful festivals and celebrations, beautiful traditional clothing and of course, delicious, unique cuisines.
So celebrate our beautiful multicultural society by embracing Harmony Day at your workplace — it's easier than you may think!
What is Harmony Day?
Falling on 21 March 2023, Harmony Day is "about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone," according to the Australian government.
Since its origin of celebrating Australia's diversity in 1999, Harmony Day has actually become Harmony week, with seven days of celebrations running from 20-26 March, 2023.
When is Harmony Day?
Monday, 21 March, 2023. Harmony week runs from 20-16 March, 2023. It coincides with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Harmony Day activities to try at work
Across the country, there's dozens of Harmony week events taking place, from traditional art workshops to storytelling in libraries, cultural performances to international eats.
Here's a few ideas on how you can bring some Harmony Day activities right into your office to celebrate the cultural diversity right at your workplace and learn about the cultures and traditions of each employee.
Host a potluck lunch
There's just something oh-so-comforting about home-made foods, cooked from family recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation.
Invite everyone to bring in one of their favourite dishes they had growing up and we're sure you'll end up with quite the international feast!
A week of feasts for Harmony week
Harmony Day is now Harmony Week, so why not turn it into a whole day of feasting?
Embrace all the different cultures in your workplace, learn about some traditional foods, and order it in. Each day of the week can focus on different regions of the world, or just make it totally random each day.
Consider asking the team what some of their favourite restaurants are or have a browse through our marketplace. We offer foods from dozens of different cuisine types that can be ordered and conveniently billed on just one invoice.
Wear your favourite traditional clothing
Another day another black, grey or navy suit? Ditch it! Skip suits for the day and wear something that's traditionally worn in your home country, where your heritage lies or in the country you're currently living in.
Just be sure to do so respectively and avoid cultural appropriation, no matter which of those applies to you.
Or... Just wear Orange
If you don't have traditional clothes to wear, consider throwing on something orange; it's the offical colour of Harmony Day. Signifying commutation and conversation, orange gathers attention and is considered to be a strong colour.
You may also want to decorate your office with a splash or two of orange. We're thinking orange flowers or orange tablecloths under your potluck feast.
Alright, we don't expect you to learn an entire language in just one day, but a few words of phrases is certainly manageable!
How nice would it be to hear hello or be asked how you are in your native tongue when in the workplace every now and then? It's a really simple way of showing interest in your colleagues and showing you care about them as people and not just as a fellow employee.
Why not even combine a few of these ideas?
If you're bringing in a local dish, teach everyone the name of what they're eating, and if you're wearing a traditional piece of clothing, let your colleagues know what the proper name of it is.
Organise an outing to a nearby Harmony Week event
There are dozens of Harmony Week events being help right across Australia, so why not see if there are any happening in your local community, gather the team together and organise an excursion. You may get to try new foods, hear a story or two about growing up in another culture, see beautiful works of art or hear some traditional music.
Volunteer with your team
Either on Harmony Day itself or one day during Harmony Week, get the team together and volunteer at a charity, invite a speaker in from a not-for-profit or make use of free workshop ideas from groups that support minority groups in Australia or work to eradicate racial discrimination.
A few include: