Ideas for the Party Human

United Nations Ambassador Banquet

Posted on: January 4, 2010

THEME:  Foreign countries, United Nations

INVITATIONS:  Each invitation should be on legal- or letter-size parchment paper of an official-looking color (beige, eggshell, grey or champagne). 

            Information should be typed or written in calligraphy as a professional invitation to the “United Nations” Banquet requesting the guest’s presence as the Ambassador of a particular country (choose a different country for each guest).  Ask the guests to come dressed in the native costume of that country (as much as possible) and bring a dish from their “homeland” for the banquet (assign different categories to each guest, such as Beverage, Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Bread, Entree or Main Dish, and Dessert).  Mention that there will be time allotted to each ambassador for talks about topics of concern to his country.  At the bottom of the invitation put a gold stamp or seal to make it look official.  These invitations could be rolled up, tied with a red-white-and-blue ribbon and hand-delivered, or you can fold them, seal and mail.  This party works well with no more than 12-15 guests; otherwise, the speeches may begin to drag.  It is a good church youth activity or party for adults or young adults.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Tables, chairs and pulpit as described in DECORATIONS below; name tags; gavel, if desired; list of topics, cut in strips; hat or box.

FOOD:  On the invitations, when asking the guests to bring dishes, be sure to specify how many people these dishes should serve.  It’s a good idea to have a couple of extra dishes prepared yourself, from the country you are representing.  It’s surprising and fun to see what everyone brings and to taste food from several different countries, and this method saves you a lot of work.  Serve buffet-style or whatever works best with the space you have.  Use china and crystal if possible, or else color-coordinated paper products.

DECORATIONS:  Decorate the room with long tables positioned in a “U” shape.  Cover with plain tablecloths or paper in red, white and blue.  Each table should have centerpieces from different countries, such as miniature flags, souvenirs, etc.  Borrow things from neighbors and friends or have guests bring them.  For place-cards, cut tiny flags out of colored paper and glue them to toothpicks.  Write the names of the “ambassadors” on the flags and stand them up in small squares of Styrofoam.  Make sample flags from some countries out of construction paper and hang them around the room, along with authentic foreign souvenirs and artifacts. Provide a pulpit or place for the “Ambassadors” to give their speeches.  Festoon buffet table, eating tables and pulpit with red-white-and-blue crepe paper streamers. 

 BLOW-BY-BLOW:   As each guest arrives, formally announce his or her name and country, and he or she can then move down and join a reception line to greet the other guests.  Give each “ambassador” a name tag, and when all have arrived, usher them to their seats to begin the banquet.  You (the host/hostess) formally welcome them from the pulpit, and then the guests line up and serve themselves buffet-style.

            After the tables are cleared or during dessert, get everyone’s attention to start the United Nations meeting by banging the gavel.  Explain that you will be passing a hat with suggested topics for the international discussion and that each ambassador should take one unless he or she already has a topic in mind.    Emphasize (with a somber face) that these are very serious issues and should not be taken lightly.  Then pass the hat and let the silly topics be chosen blindly.  For sample topics, see below.

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to ask for foreign aid so that we can finally install indoor plumbing in my country.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to negotiate spying contracts.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to ask for international grants to fund a full-scale investigation of the Mystery of the Missing Socks.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to buy technology for electronic ear de-waxers.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to drum up business for our newest and finest export–handmade backscratchers.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to discuss the possible repercussions of the current fertilizer glut.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to discuss lifting the sanctions against imported grass skirts.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to recruit researchers to find a cure for ‘Turban Itch.'”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to find new markets to sell our fantastic new ‘Gandhi Diet.'”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to make a bid to build the first McDonald’s on the moon.”

“I am    (name)   , from    (country)   , and I have come here to ask for an international ban on the violent game of tiddlywinks.”

            These are just a few ideas to show how silly and fun these topics can be.  Give the guests a few moments to prepare themselves, after which each will be allowed to speak for two or three minutes on his or her topic. The ambassadors take turns giving their impromptu speeches, trying only to be as funny as possible, and after the speeches are finished the guests may vote on the best one and give prizes, if desired.

            If there is time left over, the guests may clear away the tables and play some active games like “Animal” or Fruitbasket (using the names of the countries instead of animals or fruits).  If it is the proper crowd, a dance would be fun, using the formality of something like the Inaugural Ball.  You might ask the guests to (pretend to) do native dances from their countries.  This gets everyone involved and they don’t have to worry so much about partners. 

Variations and Comments:  As an added dimension, you may want to videotape the party, particularly the speeches and dances.  Everyone enjoys seeing themselves, and it would be fun to show at another party or even towards the end of this party as a “winding down” activity.

            Another way the speech topics can be done is to give a specific assignment to each guest in the invitation and ask him to be prepared with a two-minute, informal talk on the subject.  Here are some sample ideas for this method:

India:    The cow and how it is celebrated as the country’s sacred treasure.

Switzerland:      The growing amount of sour cheese causing the country to stink.

Ireland: Too many leprechauns stealing all the gold!

Australia:          The brilliant idea of using kangaroos as mail carriers.  (They could carry the mail in their pouches and hop from house to house.)

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1 Response to "United Nations Ambassador Banquet"

I’m back. Sorry it’s been so long! With the holidays, travel, and end-of-year stuff for Primary, it’s been crazy.

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