Thanksgiving is a joyous holiday celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in the United States. It is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November to remember when the pilgrims came to America and shared a meal with the Native Americans. The tradition can be traced back to the 16th century, but it is still celebrated today. For this holiday, families typically get together to share an extravagant turkey dinner, watch football, and be thankful for what they have.
This holiday also known as “turkey day” is highly anticipated and celebrated by Americans. However, since this is an American holiday, international students have different views on what this day means for them. According to the Drake University website, there are more than three hundred international students from over 50 countries at Drake. For many of them, Thanksgiving is not something that they celebrate.
Sharyl Kaur is a senior from Malaysia and does not celebrate Thanksgiving.
“I don’t have a particular attachment to this holiday,” Kaur said.
Kaur says that in her country there are aspects of being thankful in the holidays but there isn’t an entire holiday focused on being thankful. For this holiday, Kaur is planning to spend time with friends and is thankful for the time off school she will have.
Aaron Abraham, a senior from Singapore, has similar feelings regarding Thanksgiving.
“Thanksgiving actually doesn’t mean much to me because we don’t celebrate this holiday back in Singapore. But when I did come to the U.S., I realized how it’s a time to get together with family and appreciate what we have,” said Abraham.
For him, Thanksgiving is just another day of the year, however, he does see this holiday as a positive thing.
“I feel that it’s a great holiday because I enjoy seeing everyone reunited with their families and also lots of awesome food,” Abraham said.
Like Kaur, Abraham does not celebrate Thanksgiving or other American holidays but is thankful to have the time off to catch up on his studies.
“The best thing about Thanksgiving for me this year is the one week off from college that I will be getting,” Abraham said.
Ricardo Martinez is a sophomore from Mexico. In his country, Martinez does not celebrate Thanksgiving, but he enjoys the American celebrations for this holiday.
“This is going to be my second Thanksgiving in America and I like it a lot because I get to see all my friends from last year, and of course my host family so it is a really nice holiday.” Martinez said.
Martinez is looking forward to the time he will spend with his host family and especially the traditional meals. For Martinez, this is an important holiday.
“Since I’m going to be here for four years, it is becoming a very important holiday for me,” Martinez said.
Although not everyone will be celebrating Thanksgiving, one thing is sure, students are thankful to have this holiday to have time off from school.