Giving Thanks From Around the Globe

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a nation-wide holiday celebrated on November 25. It originated in Massachusetts after the Pilgrims from England landed in Plymouth. They struggled through hardships during the winter, such as sickness and malnutrition. They later met some Native Americans, one by the name of Squanto, who showed them how to catch and make food in order to survive. The governor, William Bradford, hosted a feast with the Native Americans in attendance. This feast is seen as the ‘first Thanksgiving.’

While Thanksgiving is an American holiday, other countries such as Canada have their own version of Thanksgiving and celebrate it their own way. Senior, Giorgia Calderin lived in Italy for a large part of her childhood and both of her parents are from Venezuela. Her family does celebrate Thanksgiving, but it wasn’t until they moved back to America.

“In my culture Thanksgiving does not exist so my family and I usually celebrate it with the usual food and traditions, however we also sometimes eat both pork and turkey too,” said Calderin.

Calderin believes Thanksgiving is a special time to bond with family and celebrate an aspect of American culture.

“I personally think that Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to reconnect with some family members that I don’t regularly see and a great holiday to really experience American traditions,” Calderin stated.

Calderin gained knowledge of Thanksgiving while living in Turin, a city in Italy. While she never celebrated during her time there, she and her sister learned about it in school.

“Thanksgiving does not exist in either Italy or Venezuela, however my sister and I always knew about the holiday, since American culture is often taught in school, plus majority of our family already lived in the U.S., which made us even more aware of the different American holidays and traditions,” Calderin said.

Sophomore, Hannah Le has a Vietnamese background, which her family incorporates into their Thanksgiving celebrations. They all gather at her grandmother’s house and play card games, and eat Vietnamese foods.

“We celebrate Thanksgiving differently from traditional ‘American culture’ by the food we consume. During the holidays, instead of eating turkey and stuffing, we eat Vietnamese food,” stated Le.

Le likes to eat a dish her grandmother makes for Thanksgiving. It’s a Vietnamese dish that is a part of her family’s celebration traditions.

“My favorite dish would have to be ‘mein ga’. It’s a Vietnamese dish that is boiled and seasoned chicken with glass noodles. Of course, there are many other dishes that are included during the holidays,” Le said.

Other similar holidays Le celebrates with her family are Christmas and Lunar New Year. Those also have aspects of Le’s Vietnamese culture and her Buddhist beliefs.

“We celebrate Christmas and Lunar New Year similar to Thanksgiving. On Christmas, we do the same activities like eating and hanging out with our loved ones. On Lunar New Year, we have a more detailed day. Lunar New Year is a day of celebrating the next year according to the Lunar calendar. It’s a day where we honor our ancestors by setting up plates of traditional food. The adults of the family hand out envelopes full of ‘lucky money’ and we play fun board games,” stated Le.

Le thinks America has influenced the rest of the world with Thanksgiving through its strong family values and encouragement to show them love.

“Thanksgiving has influenced the rest of the world by encouraging families to spend more time with one another. Despite the difference of the cultures, Thanksgiving is a holiday everyone can appreciate. We are able to be grateful to our loved ones who have been supporting us since the beginning. In my opinion, it’s one of the most important holidays,” Le stated.

When people outside of America unite through tradition, our global society can come together and incorporate their own religion and culture, and even personal beliefs as individuals into a celebration originating from unification.