An international perspective on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving’s Turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, and it is usually baked or roasted (Photo by:

Yingjie Zhu, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is on Nov. 24 this year. Many are ready to celebrate with their families. Thanksgiving break at Southeastern is from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25.

Some of the main traditions of the season include: providing free Thanksgiving dinners for the needy, holding food drives and giving charitable contributions. The Salvation Army is especially famous for enlisting volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate.

Attending church services where congregants give thanks to God for the year’s blessings is another special tradition. These services are typically held the weekend before the holiday, the day of, or the weekend after. Saying grace over Thanksgiving dinner is also a highly practiced tradition during the holiday season.

Feasting on large Thanksgiving dinners and enjoying leftovers the following week is a major holiday perk. Turkey is the centerpiece of the majority of Thanksgiving meals, and it is usually baked or roasted. Some, however, now opt to smoke or deep-fry their turkey.

Traditional Thanksgiving foods include stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, corn on the cob, butternut squash, candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday for Americans, but most other countries do not celebrate it. International students at SE come from countries that do not celebrate this holiday.

Jihyun Park is from South Korea and had never celebrated Thanksgiving before she came to the United States. Park will spend Thanksgiving with her friend’s family.

Mengting Huang, an international student from China, who has yet to celebrate Thanksgiving. Huang has been in the States for four years. Usually, Huang goes shopping during Thanksgiving because Black Friday has big discounts.

Xueran Zhai, is also from China. Zhai has been in the U.S. for three years. Zhai considers Thanksgiving break as a great time to travel. Zhai will also go shopping during Thanksgiving break.

SE has international teachers who have been in the states for a very long time. Dr. Su, a professor in Computer Science department, hosts Thanksgiving dinner at his home. He invites Chinese students to have dinner together at his residence.