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Celebrating Thanksgiving Overseas

Celebrating Thanksgiving Overseas
Admin - Apr 01 2015

A New Experience

Being away from home for any length of time is difficult. It is even more difficult when the holiday season comes around and you cannot celebrate with your friends and family back home. Luckily, if you have some good people surrounding you during this time, you will accept the change and look at it in a positive way. The point is not to forget your families, friends, traditions, or home, but rather to accept the new experience of being abroad and understand that it will be another story to add to the list. This Thanksgiving, I was celebrating in Shijiazhuang, China.

The Day

The fourth Thursday started off fairly well seeing as how my best friend had gone home for the holidays. Though I rarely listen to country music, I decided it only seemed right to blast it and drink coffee to start the morning. It felt like I was keeping the tradition alive by listening to good old’ American country. To further keep the tradition of home alive, I went to eat at McDonalds for lunch. I had been trying to save some money but decided to treat myself to classic American fast food. It is kind of crazy to think of the things that remind me of home over here.

A Chinese Thanksgiving

IMG_4048School on Thanksgiving was alright. I designed a whole lesson aroundThanksgiving and taught the kids to give thanks for the things they were happy about in their lives. The day flew by and by the time dinner came around, I was ready to feast. My boss is also from America and he coordinated a dinner for all of the foreign staff from all the different schools to enjoy. It was not traditional ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cornbread, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, or anything like that but it was still delicious. In all, about 18 foreign teachers from all over the world met up to celebrate this American holiday. It was very interesting to talk with the other teachers from the different places and hear what they thought about Thanksgiving. Many people do not really know exactly what the holiday entails or even the traditions. It was pretty cool to be passing around different cultures. We were talking about traditions when someone suggested that we all stand up and give thanks like how we Americans do it back home. Everyone agreed and said what they were thankful for. I told everyone that I was thankful for having a new teaching career, new best friends, and for China providing the opportunity. Everybody took it fairly seriously and gave some good thanks. After this, we feasted on the ridiculous amounts of food that we ordered.

Staying True

IMG_4050It turned out to be a fairly true Thanksgiving; I ended up eating way too much food and felt sick. For 18 people, the bill came out to be about 60 Yuan each which is relatively cheap in US dollars. For about $10 I ate and tried a plethora of different foods. The day turned out to be a success in the end. It is important to remember why you are here and what you are doing when the holidays come around. I keep reminding myself that these times will be some great stories in the future and that I will always look back on these days fondly. This is such a unique experience and we will never have something like this again.


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