Wednesday, January 15, 2014

17th Annual Holiday Luncheon and Reception

Posted by Keith Wiley, Intern

On December 6th, the World Trade Center Harrisburg Team hosted the 17th annual Holiday Luncheon and Reception. This year we had a particularly interesting luncheon program focused on the Dominican Republic.  WTC member Irma Olivo, Sales Manager for Latin America at Integra Life Sciences was our presenter. 

Check out our photos from the luncheon on Facebook! For more information on traveling and doing business in the Dominican Republic feel free to take a look at the cultural report for the Dominican Republic. These reports are prepared periodically for WTC members traveling to specific countries. 

Below is a brief overview and some fast facts about the Dominican Republic:

Capital City: Santo Domingo
Official Language: Spanish
Currency: Dominican Peso
Land Area: 48,442 km2
Population: 10,219,630
Climate: Tropical
Religions: Catholic 95%, Other 5%

Irma began her presentation with an overview of the various Holidays celebrated in the Dominican Republic and shared cultural  as well as culinary highlights that one can experience while visiting the country. A list of these Holidays are as follows:

January 1st- New Year’s Day/Año Nuevo  
January 6th- Day of the Epiphany/ Three Kings Day
January 21st- The Virgin of Altagracia
January 26th- Duarte’s Birthday
February 27th- Dominican Independence
March 29th- Good Friday
April 29th- Dominican Labor Day
May 30th – Corpus Christi
August 16th- Dominican Restoration Day
September 24th- The Virgin of Mercedes
November 4th- Constitution Day
December 25th- Christmas Day/ Navidad

It is important to understand cultural differences when visiting a foreign country and especially while conducting business. For example, for Navidad, or Christmas, businesses in the Dominican Republic are mostly closed from December 20th- January 7th (with limited work hours if not closed). It is customary to  receive and give cards and small gifts (Nothing Personal) such as Gift baskets, Rum, Whiskey and Eggnog (Ponche).

Fast forwarding to Independence Day, which is celebrated on February 27th, Irma explained that this is arguably the best time to visit and experience the Dominican Republic. Each region has their own carnival while many businesses sponsor dance teams/ floats and operate on limited hours and days.

A final note on Religious Holidays is that during Semana Santa (Holy Week) most businesses are closed while families pack up and go to the beach for the week. During this week do not expect to have many meat dishes because it is customary to not consume meat during Holy Week.

Beyond these Holidays the presentation touched on other important cultural realms, perhaps one of the most important, Dominican cuisine! There are many different options to choose from when concerning food in the Dominican Republic, the various mixtures and blends of recipes stretch across the Globe and can exemplify the deepened history this area has experienced. Just a brief list includes Puerco Asado (roasted pork), Arros/ Morros (rice & beans), Pavo (turkey seasoned with sour oranges), Ensalada Rusia (potato salad with beets), Telera (holiday bread), and Flan (pictured right). 

As always, we give many thanks to our sponsors UPSFultonBankMANTEC and all other supporters who helped to make this event possible. The World Trade Center Harrisburg Team wishes you happy holidays!

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