Thanksgiving is more than a time to reflect on the valuable people and opportunities in our lives. It is a time to reflect on our heritage as Americans. Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays exclusively known to be American, other than Canada’s own October Thanksgiving holiday which is more about the fall season and not pilgrims.
While the “giving thanks” aspect of the holiday is one hundred percent important, celebrating our culture is just as important. It is not a holiday bound by religion or a foreign culture. Every American is included in Thanksgiving, making it a crucial part to our society.
Yes, Thanksgiving could also be seen as representing a brutal stripping of Native American culture by Europeans. But while no one should hide from these historical facts, we can still cherish what the holiday means in this day and age. The idea of creating a program that brings international students to our Thanksgiving dinner table is a great one. While they are going to school in the United States, it is good for these visitors to indulge in our culture and learn more about what our holidays mean.
Most of the time, part of the reason international students choose to study abroad is because they want to embrace and learn about a new culture. We should help them by showing them ours. If they came here looking to understand American culture and values, let’s invite them into our homes and show them what being “American” means to us. Thanksgiving is a great way to start.
It includes Americans from all backgrounds, who for the most part identify themselves with the heritage of their ancestors. Americans usually tend to discuss where their lineage is from, whether it be Ireland, Italy, El Salvador, Haiti. or elsewhere On the last Thursday of November, we are all simply Americans. While international students are here in our country, let them be Americans for a day, as well.