International students may wonder what Thanksgiving is all about. It's a holiday on the last Thursday of November with a menu that traditionally includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a variety of desserts, including pumpkin pie. Every year, nearly 46 million turkeys are eaten across the country on Thanksgiving. America's "First Thanksgiving" dates back to the 17th century, when Pilgrim settlers shared a fall harvest celebration with an American Indian tribe. Today, family and friends gather together to eat and give thanks. People watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and NFL football games while the meal is prepared. Thanksgiving is also when the Christmas shopping season kicks into overdrive. On the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, millions of shoppers head to stores in search of holiday deals.
Attending a Thanksgiving feast is a great opportunity for international students to partake in an American tradition. This week WES Student Advisor caught up with several students from New York University and asked them about their Thanksgiving plans.
Deepti Gupta, of India, NYU '14: "As an Indian immigrant to the U.S., I have tried embracing many customs/festivities which are celebrated in the U.S. For Thanksgiving, I like to keep it simple and enjoyable, and enjoy time with my family. Food acts as a tool to keep the festivities flowing."
Yunsong Li, of China, NYU '14: “I guess I'll shop around those retailer websites and see if they got good deals on electric toothbrushes. Me and my roommate are also going to celebrate the day with a free rotisserie chicken redeemed at Costco with the voucher we got from LivingSocial."
Hao Zheng, of China, NYU '15: "My friend Lydia invited me to her place for Thanksgiving. Actually, it's my second time for Thanksgiving with her. She is an awesome chef! This year we will do pot luck, and I'll bring my famous red brew pork."
What are you thankful for this year? And if you’re studying in the U.S., how are you celebrating Thanksgiving?