It's all about gratitude

It's all about gratitude

While many celebrate ‘Thanksgiving Day’ as a tradition, for others it is a break from their busy work schedules. The day, which is of American origin, is about being thankful and enjoying a wonderful spread with family. Expatriates in the City share about what the day means to them.

Most of them believe that the day is about the magical words – ‘Thank You’. Simone Carlos, a student of French and Art from New York, says that day is about getting together as a family and being thankful. “Before we indulge into the lavish spread on the table, which includes traditional food like turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and boiled vegetables, we hold hands and each one of us says ‘thank you’ for at least one thing in our lives,” recollects Simone. She says that the three years that she has been in the City, she has followed all the traditions of the festival with her friends. “It is also the day when everyone forgets about their diet,” she adds, with a smile.

Frances Rao, who is from Washington DC, recollects that the day is about football too.
“I remember that we would be sitting around watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while my dad and others would be watching football,” she says. One of her favourite memories of the day is taking the crispy skin off the turkey before laying it on the table for everyone.

Arthur Mitchell, who is from Detroit, feels that the best thing about the festival is that it isn’t religious. “It’s a wonderful holiday with three main elements — family, food and football. Also, one doesn’t have to worry about gifts or shopping,” he says.

Others like Janifer, who hails from Colorado, say that the day is different here. “Earlier, I used to import all of the ingredients from the US and make the dinner. Despite that, I found it difficult to bake the meat the right way as the ovens here are different and the turkey isn’t the same too. Many a time, I would end up eating out.”

She adds, “It is a day of feasting and includes traditional food items like pumpkin pie, minced meat pie, sweet potato, green bean salad etc.” Janifer says that many give their own twist to the turkey and other dishes but she is a fan of the old and traditional recipes.

Captain Eddie Lopez, who is Latin but grew up in the US, says, “We always added our own elements to the festivities. Back home, the turkey is cooked in a different way.
Whatever the changes may be, the meaning of the day still remains the same,” he says.

He adds that the tradition back home includes shopping on ‘Black Friday’, a day when stores offer great deals. “It is a fanatic tradition there. People line up at 3 am the next day for these deals but I’m not into it,” he says. For Eddie, the day is about family and lip-smacking food.

Dianne Cobb-Pennisi, a zumba instructor in the City who is from Washington DC, says that since she travels a lot, she enjoys sharing tales of her travel with her family on this day. “For me, everything before and after the day is about work. The day marks the beginning of a festive month. I will spend it with close friends,” she says. Dianne says that back home, after dinner, the day includes singing and dancing. “It is just a day of great joy,” she says.

So what is the favourite part of the festival for most people? Ellen Timberwoode from Minnesota says that the day marks the beginning of the festive season.

“Colourful streamers, Christmas lights and the tree with all the decorations, will slowly come out of the closet now and the houses will adorn a festive mood. This is the best part of the year for me and what better way to start off than saying ‘Thank You’,” she says.

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