How it was different yet similar to traditional Filipino holiday celebrations.
November 23, 2022
Thanksgiving is not in the traditional Filipino holiday calendar. My first Thanksgiving last year I spent traveling with my family, and this will be the first real one. It was odd at first because the concept of this holiday was completely foreign to me. As it came closing in, most questions revolved around the one idea: what are you thankful for? And personally, as time has passed, taking a step back and looking at the big picture has helped me appreciate everything in my life so far.
I am thankful for the opportunity and enablers for me to study in the United States. Connections I have made in school and work at the TMCC International Student Services Office; they became my primary source of support during my journey here. My newfound “mom” figure, who makes me feel valued and cared for so much. And my overall individual growth. All of those being a vital part of me at this time.
For this little “school break,” I will be spending it with a great local friend of mine and his family. The three-hour drive to California shall be fun, and quench my thirst for a little travel getaway.
November 24, 2022
As this was my first authentic Thanksgiving experience, I have yet to develop expectations. I asked what I could contribute to the feast, and auntie told me that she has been looking for a lemon meringue pie. Unfortunately, every Safeway and Raley’s along the way had none of it, and I ended up bringing pumpkin cheesecakes.
I arrived and headed for the kitchen to put down the food I had brought, beside three pumpkin pies. Yes, three, sometimes more is not merrier. My traditional American Thanksgiving dinner consisted of green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, ham, turkey, and sweet potatoes.
It was a very calm celebration. The television played the latest football match, with papi asking for American football to be played instead of “football-soccer.” It didn’t matter which sport it was though, he loves Portugal!
The dogs and their zoomies were running around asking everyone at the table for some scraps. One of the aunties started to drink wine. Uncle was scurrying around to get the turkey perfectly cooked. And the not-so-old-not-so-young generation talking about Twitter having a subscription and whether or not it was a good idea. It was peaceful nonetheless, the epitome of how being surrounded by family should be.
November 25, 2022
Thanksgiving is all about being grateful, and acknowledging that there is plenty to be thankful for. Although it is a lot different from Filipino celebrations (the way you celebrate it too), this experience was contrastive yet similar. And I’m thankful I got to celebrate it multiculturally. It was time for me to come home to Carson City that day, along with numerous cars from different states. What a first Thanksgiving!
|Alaine Obra from the Philippines is studying for an associate’s degree in computer science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.|
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