Friday, 02 December 2016

A British-American Thanksgiving

Written by Lindsay Robinson
Last week, I found it quite humorous to be celebrating the ultimate American holiday in the old motherland. It's as if I had jumped back on that colony ship and sailed the blue Atlantic toward my ancestors, bringing the new world back with me. Although a harrowing idea for the Plymouth colonists, I was welcomed here with open arms. Consider it another sign of the times and of the warm relationship between Americans and Brits.

Even though the Thanksgiving holiday is a result of separatists surviving the wilderness with their new, native neighbors, it seems that England has sniffed out our feast and taken interest too. I was wished well by professors and classmates alike last Thursday. Even from the bus, I saw advertisements of turkey and stuffing meals. The latter may have been just a coincidence of "fall food deals", but I sense some adoption in the air.

Although my friends at home had the day off from school and work, I had to turn in a huge midterm paper. Since my former life consisted of work in the healthcare field, I rarely had holidays off, so it did somewhat feel like my old routine. The weekend however, brought two unique and colorful Thanksgiving parties, both consisting of primarily non-Americans. I was initially struck with wide-eyes asking me what the holiday was exactly about. It was embarrassing when I hesitated, as I had not recited this story since I was dressed in colonial clothing in a preschool play. Luckily paired up with other Americans in the group, we pieced together the story of the first Thanksgiving; fresh off the boat, sick and shocked colonists learning how to cultivate corn with the Native American Pawtuxet tribe.

These tales were told and retold over plates of turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, beans, potatoes, and gravy. Certainly not a reconstruction of the original meal, but there was a strange familiarity with my own story. Rewrite the colonists as deep-rooted American millennials, arriving to Snapchat their artistically designed plates. Add in British natives, saving the day by teaching the expats how to make macaroni and cheese without a Kraft box. Looking at it from this perspective, I realize that I have had my first (and by far best) Thanksgiving tale to remember. I am certainly thankful for my new home, neighbors, and shared experiences!

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