Sometimes the perfect stress antidote is a rejuvenating gathering to connect with the people who matter to you. It’s important to stoke your inner fires and give them oxygen, so we wondered what that looked like in different cultures around the globe. Of course, now we have some new things we’d like to try. Friluftsliv, anyone?
Nordic spa is a regular part of everyday life there, and revolves around friluftsliv, or the love of the outdoors. The spa ritual itself involves thermal healing through heat or steam, and is a favorite way to gather. A fire is lit to heat the outdoor bath, and as the process takes a few hours, this offers ample time to sit and talk with friends and family over hot food and drinks.
India: Milk Tea (Chai)
There are few better ways to unwind than with a good cuppa, and milk tea takes that enjoyment to a whole new level. The spicy goodness of Indian milk tea (what Americans call chai, which is actually the Indian word for tea itself) is a staple in every house and every corner store, with tables outside the booths for people to sit and chat. Locals recommend eating the tea with salty biscuits for a flavor contrast.
Where South Asia has milk tea, the U.S. has brunch. A combination of the words breakfast and lunch, this lengthy meal is now a weekend institution, often enjoyed with friends and bottomless cocktails. Brunch offers a chance to reconnect, eat eggs and pastry, and let someone else do the dishes.
China: Shared Plates
China is another country that bonds over good food, and they prefer to do so family-style. The very popular dim sum is a breakfast or brunch ritual (if you’ve eaten dim sum, you know the dynamic well). Regardless, sharing food is an important custom in this vast country, and even dinners are served family-style on large plates so everyone can take some for their own bowls, finding joy in sharing with each other. Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner even has its own name: Nian Ye Fan (年夜饭), and tables have specially rotating glass circles for the food to go around the table.
Whether you have time to travel or not in the days ahead, any of these gathering rituals would be fun to try as a way to exhale and spend time with the ones you love. But do call us if you set up a spa, because we are so there.
Global Round-Up is our Friday collection of interesting tidbits and tools from around the globe, curated to support women founders as they scale their ideas.