One might think that moving to another country and adopting its traditions means that it’s more difficult to celebrate those from back home. For example, although it’s not that different, Christmas is celebrated a day earlier in Germany (and many European countries) than it is in the states. My family has celebrated on the 24th for some time now, so I am used to it, but perhaps it is different for other ex-pats.
And there there’s Thanksgiving. Although there are variations of this holiday in some countries of the worldwide, the celebration is primarily an American and Canadian one, albeit during different months. But for the two Thanksgiving days that I’ve spend abroad, both of them involved actual celebrations.
The first, in 2011, consisted of me cooking a meal for three friends of mine. We ate and drank and had a lovely, intimate evening. This year, I ended up doing Thanksgiving again, but it expanded, as my group of American friends has also expanded.
Additionally, I was able to celebrate it twice this year. The first was on the actual day, Nov. 22. We hosted at our place, inviting over some ex-pat friends, some Germans who had never experienced Thanksgiving, and my dear Slovenian friend who was present last year. Everyone brought something to eat, and the result was a delicious vegan Thanksgiving potluck. Furthermore, the band Young Man was on tour, playing a venue three blocks away, so the guys (who were away from home on this holiday) also came over, successfully eliminating any potential leftover food.
LT’s sweet potato casserole, half-vegan, half-not
A’s grilled vegetables and my stuffing
LM’s salad, K’s stuffed mushrooms, and my tofurkey
E’s chocolate chip pumpkin cookies
Tetris gets cozy with his American comrades
M. with his American-style, non-vegetarian marshmallows…so patriotic!
After all was said and done, we had less than 48 hours to recover before doing it all again. This time, we had Thanksgiving at T&T’s place, and it involved M’s family, and some old and new friends from American, Germany, Italy, and Denmark. This one had nearly 20 people, and a large mix of dishes for the veggies and the omnis alike, as well as some traditional soul food.