About us Making Christmas biscuits with the Valeriana community

This year’s Christmas features not only tasty treats but also Eritrean coffee and Ethiopian Christmas music! Well, at least that’s the case when we invite our staff for a Christmas Valeriana bake-off, as we did last Sunday at the GZ Buchegg community centre.

While candles and cheese are being made next door, the GZ Buchegg kitchen smells deliciously of biscuits — or, more precisely, Milanese biscuits, cinnamon stars, hazelnut macaroons and cantuccini. In small groups, our participants follow their recipes closely, forming rolls, kneading dough, punching out little Christmas trees and generously distributing sugar sprinkles, accompanied by lively conversations and a colourful mix of tracks by Wham!, Ariana Grande and Ismail Dannan.

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With regular community activities like this one, we want to give our employees the opportunity to meet up outside of their working hours, make new contacts, exchange and make some new friends. Because that, too, is an integral part of integration — having a good network of friends and acquaintances and feeling like you’ve finally arrived somewhere. 

At the pre-Christmas bake-off, long-time employees meet brand-new employees. Some have even brought their children; others are happy about a little bit of child-free time. While the biscuits bake in the oven, Embaba shows us how she roasts and prepares traditional Eritrean coffee. Everything is done by hand and with great attention to detail. Her friend Selemawit, whom she also met through Valeriana, serves tasty Eritrean bread and pastry.

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At the end of our event, everyone goes back home with full bellies and lots of energy (an Eritrean coffee packs a punch!) while already looking forward to our next get-together in the new year.

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