SUMMARY OF DECEMBER BOOK CLUB MEETING, Festive Season Special
The author of the December EASA Book Club meeting was Amita Sathe Bambawale who spoke to EASA and SHOM members about her book Dinner Décor, A How to Guide for Fabulous Centerpieces. As she explained, a beautifully decorated table is just as important as giving your guests a satisfactory meal. The book describes table arrangement and décor and presents different ideas varying according to the seasons of the year, different Indian and other festivals; also taking into consideration the fabrics, natural materials and crockery available. Spring, the monsoon season, Diwali, Holi and other themes are explored and colour schemes, flowers and accessories arranged in aesthetically appealing ways to create an ambience where conversations flow smoothly and dialogues are encouraged.
As a diplomat’s wife, she emphasized how it is important to showcase not only our own culture but also respect and appreciate the culture of the country where one is posted, and hence table décor could also incorporate the festivals and culture of that country. This could be a way of breaking the ice and creating a friendly and warm atmosphere. Traditional Indian hospitality has always been a part of our lives and Atithee devo bhavah needs to be echoed in the way we look after our guests even today.
Amita gave an audio visual presentation on her book and the vibrant colours and table arrangements were augmented with explanations of and a guide on how to recycle things available in every home rather than buying expensive products. A comprehensive guide for all diplomats’ wives, it was definitely useful and interesting.