Embracing and Enjoying the Feast of the Year
International Students Experience the Thanksgiving Tradition
By KERRI SALTER
Thanksgiving is a tradition among many in the United States.
The first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in Massachusetts, in 1621. According to The History Channel, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. However, Congress did not make it an official national holiday until 1941.
For the international students at Lynn, it may be a bit of a shocker to have a holiday where one commemorates a holiday focused solely on eating all day.
Arnold Ganuza, freshman, has family from El Salvador in South America. “For my family, we have your usual Thanksgiving dinner; turkey, stuffing, potatoes and such,” said Ganuza. “However, in El Salvador, we celebrate the Saints Day.” In El Salvador, each one of the Catholic Saints has their own holiday.
“When my family in El Salvador celebrates Saints Day, we basically have a giant family get together and have a big meal. Instead of your turkey for Thanksgiving though, we have a traditional El Salvadorian meal or meals I should say since there is more then one day we celebrate,” said Ganuza.
When Ganuza thinks of Thanksgiving, he thinks of the food because it brings everyone together around one table. It may be a small family of two or a large extended family – it all depends on the family and how they celebrate Thanksgiving.
Katerina Valtcheva, freshman, is celebrating her first Thanksgiving on campus.
“I am from Sofia, which is the capital of Bulgaria,” said Valtcheva. “We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I learned about it while in school.” In Bulgaria there are several holidays celebrated which are not celebrated in the United States.
“On March 3, we have our Independence Day,” said Valtcheva. On this day the Liberation of the country from the Ottoman rule is commemorated. March 1 is called Baba Marta in Bulgarian. This is to celebrate the coming of Spring.
“I get to make little figures out of white and red thread and put them on my shirt or wrist,” said Valtcheva. “I love making them for my friends!”
When it comes to Thanksgiving though, Valtcheva is looking forward to it. “I think of turkey and cranberries,” she said. Valtcheva is also looking forward to her first Christmas in America and will be celebrating it in California with her father.
Whether one is studying here internationally or domestically, the iPulse wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.