Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reflections on Thanksgiving

I had an epiphany about Thanksgiving this year. It is only an American holiday (well, and maybe Canadian, but it's not even on the same day). In fact, I had to explain what Thanksgiving was to my Egyptian roommate. I didn't do a very good job of that. What's Thanksgiving about again? Oh yeah, the Pilgrims and Indians- wait, no, the Native Americans and thanking God for making it through the winter. But then why do we celebrate in the fall? So much for knowing my American history- Ms. Langford must have not taught that part, or else I would have some little song or ditty to remind me about it!

Anyways, when you're overseas you feel that every white person you see comes from the same culture as you. And it's partially true. They usually speak good English, even if it's not their native tongue, celebrate Christian holidays and think it's hot here. So it seemed really strange that many of the white people that I met thought that Thursday was just a normal day and weren't going to be preparing food for a Thanksgiving meal. It makes me so thankful to be American. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season and without it how would we know that it was time to begin decorating and having Christmas parties. Seriously, the holiday season wouldn't be half as great if it didn't start with Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving overseas was really different, but good! The day was a pretty normal day until the evening. Then we headed over to an American family's home. And here's the great thing- I didn't even know this family, or most of the people there either. But that's what happens when you're part of a small minority. Simply because you're part of the minority means you are part of the family. It's great. We had almost all the traditional food and had a wonderful time. There were a few things I missed about Thanksgiving in the states though. Like family (obviously) and watching the football and eating pie at half-time. We had pie, we were just eating it with the call to prayer in the background instead of commercials for black Friday deals chattering away. Despite it all, I had a wonderful time meeting new friends and enjoying a tradition- even if I don't quite know what we're celebrating :)

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