How People from Other Cultures Adapt to Thanksgiving

The diverse backgrounds of the dishes present during a Thanksgiving dinner depicts the variety and diversity of cultures that merge together to form the American culture.

The diverse backgrounds of the dishes present during a Thanksgiving dinner depicts the variety and diversity of cultures that merge together to form the American culture.

Thanksgiving is a holiday where we feel thankful for everything that we have. However, this tradition is only celebrated in America and Canada. Therefore most foreigners who come to America must adapt to this new holiday. There are many students at school whose families originate from different countries and cultures.

Junior Edward Phillips moved from Canada when he was seven. He had no difficulty adjusting to Thanksgiving as he celebrated it in Canada as well.

“I celebrated Thanksgiving back in Canada, but it was Canadian Thanksgiving which is in October. Interestingly enough, Canadian thanksgiving originated before American Thanksgiving,” Phillips said.

Most cultures do not celebrate Thanksgiving. This is true for senior Cheryl Lee and junior Jim Hu who are both Chinese.

“We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving back in China,” Lee said.

While in Australia junior Luke Broadway did not celebrate Thanksgiving, he did have a similar holiday called Anzac Day.

“Anzac Day is a day where Australians and New Zealanders commemorate the loss of all who fought during the wars and recognize the accomplishments that they died for,” Broadway said.

The lack of Thanksgiving in their culture has had no impact on multicultural students’ understanding of it.

“Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful to the world that gave you life as well as the people who helped you,” Hu said.

Junior Hannah Fletcher has assimilated to many cultures in her life. She is half-Caucasian and half-Japanese, and transferred from a British boarding school, making her knowledgeable about many customs.

“I've absorbed a lot of different traditions and cultures just by moving around,” Fletcher said.

She moved from Hong Kong this January and is still confused about Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving was just a holiday or a day off from school [in Hong Kong]. I'm still unsure of the roots behind this holiday and it's significance,“ Fletcher admitted.

This Thanksgiving, these students plan to celebrate in their own ways. Some, like Phillips and Broadway plan to spend time with their family.

“This year for Thanksgiving I'm going to Los Angeles with my parents and little sister to see old friends, the Perry's. They are wonderful people and seeing them makes a great holiday,” Phillips said.

“I’m going to Colorado to celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad’s girlfriend’s family,” Broadway mentioned.

Others, like Fletcher plan to enjoy their holiday with friends.

“This year I plan to have a Friendsgiving, or a meal with all my friends. This is my first Thanksgiving in America, and I'm excited,” Fletcher said.

Overall, Thanksgiving is one of the many holidays foreigners must get accustomed to when they move to America. However, the meaning of American holidays is not hard to understand and overtime the foreigners will celebrate these holidays just like any American.

Posted on November 22, 2016 .