A Thanksgiving Abroad

By Yunzhe Wang

The first Thanksgiving in the United States was celebrated in 1863 by presidential proclamation. My first Thanksgiving was celebrated with my friend Cassi and her family in Phoenix.

Thanks to Cassi and her family, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving that I would never forget. As a Chinese student being far away from home, attending college in the United States, it is not easy to live independently without family, especially in the holiday season.

I was excited because of the long vacation and more excited to experience the true Thanksgiving with an American family. Before I came to the state, I only know Thanksgiving is a tradition in the United States and celebrated on the third Thursday of November by American families.

One day before Thanksgiving, Cassi’s mum picked us up on campus and took us back home. Thanksgiving was much like the Chinese Moon Festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Lunar Calendar, celebrating the harvest of the year. Both are celebrated with a feast shared among family. Family members, no matter where they are, usually travel across the country for the celebration with their families. Cassi had a big family, about 30 family members coming back from different cities and states.

“Thanksgiving is all about eating,” Cassi said. “Tomorrow you will have the most delicious turkey in the world and pumpkin pie from my grandma.”

That is right. Nothing could be more appropriate than enjoying a huge dinner. Our Thanksgiving dinner menu includes traditional feast stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with butter and topped with gravy and pumpkin pie for dessert. Everyone also brought some other food to the Thanksgiving dinner, which made the kitchen more like a huge buffet.

It was a time for eating and sharing. First of all, we thanked god for providing us food, sunshine, air, water, and everything we need to live in the world, thanked ancestors and parents for giving us the life, and thanked everyone for giving us help. While having this traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, every family member told the stories of themselves about what they had done, what they were doing, and what they would do. Those were the best moments for families no matter what nationalities you were in and where you were.

There is the culture gap between countries and will never disappeared. It is hard to understand the true story behind the Thanksgiving if you know nothing about pilgrims. However, being thankful is the main theme at this time of the year. Much thanks to everyone and everything, especially for my parents who are far from me.

Thank you for giving me the life. I am so lucky to be born and bred at this time. You give me, your only child all you have, even the whole world if you can. I am trying to live up to your expectations and never let you down. What I should do is to do my own diligence and to be responsible for taking care you. In the end, I want to say “I love you, my dear mum and dad.”

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