Main piece: “My mom last year, when we were in Hong Kong, it was just us three, my father, my mother, and I, and she purchased a whole chicken and made stuffing on the side, and cranberry sauce and we made our own little Thanksgiving. The feeling was almost there, almost… because it was a chicken.”
Informant is a first year acting student at the University of Southern California. She was born in Medellin, Colombia, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and at age 12 she moved to Paris and later Hong Kong. She spends her winter and summer vacations with her family in Colombia.
I asked the informant if she still celebrated Thanksgiving once she moved abroad, and this was her response.
Because the informant has grown up in such a mix of cultures, with Colombian parents, an American childhood, and then eventually living in both France and Hong Kong, it is interesting to see the way she still tries to hold onto bits of her childhood traditions. Even though her mother herself did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, she loved the idea of coming together as a family to share a delicious, home-cooked meal. To her family, it does not carry the historical context of celebrating the arrival of the Mayflower, but still has the important message of sharing their gratitude and coming together as a family. Even though a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is centered around turkey, the feeling is close the the same, and her family is reminded of the holiday they used to celebrate.