Celebrating Thanksgiving in different cultures


The Catalyst / Annabelle Huber

Annabelle Huber’s Thanksgiving celebration includes eating traditional Swiss raclette.

For the average American household, Thanksgiving consists of large family gatherings and reunions, a decadent feast and serves as a time of reflection and gratitude. However, the celebration of Thanksgiving revolves around the formation of the United States and centers around American pride. Those whose family lineage does not span generations in the country may struggle with understanding and celebrating a holiday that is so important to Americans.

Immigrants coming to the United States have come up with their own way to celebrate the holiday. For families who do not come from a traditional American family, Thanksgiving can be a holiday that lacks traditions and structure. However, many have found a way to add their own twist to Thanksgiving and celebrate it while incorporating aspects of their culture.

Siblings Abby and Ally Co celebrate Thanksgiving with their mom, who grew up in the Philippines and their dad who grew up in the United States. Their Thanksgiving consists of eating Asian foods their parents are accustomed to.

“We usually play basketball, and eat crab from the local harbor,” said Abby Co. “My mom grew up in the Philippines so she didn’t celebrate and my dad had the traditional turkey but also had crab or some sort of Chinese food.”

Along with the unique foods consumed, Thanksgiving for the duo includes spending quality time with family and forming new traditions.

“We celebrated Thanksgiving last year by going to the harbor to watch the sunset,” said Ally Co.

Senior Annabelle Huber celebrates her Thanksgivings with her immediate family as her extended family is spread across Switzerland and Japan.

“We have no family in America but when celebrating with each other, we have Swiss raclette,” said Huber. “Raclette is made up of a bunch of cheeses put on a plate and melting each slice and it’s eaten with pickles and peppers.”

Huber’s experience of celebrating without their extended family is common as many people do not live in close proximity to their other family members.

Despite the holiday being an American one, many people of different cultures have integrated their own traditions into that of Thanksgiving. For the day of thankfulness, there is no other way to celebrate than being around family and eating delicious food.