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December 3, 2015
By Reyan Atassi, Hinsdale Central
Who doesn’t love a good turkey and a few friends to eat it with? Weirdly enough, some of your peers might have no experience with the holiday the way you do, whose families just don’t understand why they should celebrate that holiday.
For others, Thanksgiving is an iconic holiday in American culture, standing out for its elaborate dinners and delicious turkeys that bring families and friends together. There are some families in America that don’t see the significance in the holiday and simply don’t celebrate it. That tends to happen with foreign families more often, where the weight of the holiday just wouldn’t have an effect on them, favoring their own cultural holidays. If a family wants to consider themselves American should they have to celebrate the holiday? Should they go out of their way to buy turkey and sweet potatoes for a big dinner?
One anonymous student claimed that they simply don’t celebrate it and the best response I got as to why is a simple shrug with, “We just don’t celebrate it.” I’ve also seen families attempt to get into the spirit of the holiday with their own foods and elaborate dinners on Thanksgiving, foreign foods in place of the classic meals. I think that some families want to be more American and embrace the culture of their community while others are rigidly tied to their own. Jonathan from Hinsdale Central says “I’m Chinese so my family doesn’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, but we do eat turkey. I think all Americans should celebrate Thanksgiving if it is a tradition.”
It was very difficult for me to find anyone who claimed that they had no ties to the holiday, even those families that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving will organize a gathering and dinner on that day. When I asked Rohith, an Indian student from Hinsdale Central, what his family does on Thanksgiving he said, “Well my traditions are spending time with extended family in the area, and making a mix of Indian and Thanksgiving food…basically we have curries and a turkey.” Both of these students come from families with their own cultural background and beliefs, yet still accept this holiday as a time of gathering and feasting. The power of Thanksgiving comes from the same power that makes America the famous melting pot that it is, a universal idea that brings different and similar people together.
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