Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where's the Thanksgiving Fish?

People occasionally ask us what we do when Thanksgiving comes around. Since we're only loosely connected to the States, some assume we don't celebrate it at all. Well, as you will behold in these photos, we do celebrate Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings! Yes, we even enjoy succulent turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, and my (Eric's) personal favorite, sweet potatoes. So, at high noon, most of our faculty and staff, along with about half of our on-campus students, gathered in the large classroom to tables loaded with food. After singing and a little sharing, we feasted . . . and feasted . . . and feasted (and then went back for more dessert).
This year, I noticed that something was glaringly missing. A scan across the table, loaded with American fixings, revealed the absence of fish. No fish?! This is the first Thanksgiving in three that has not had fish. Sure, the boatload of obligatory rice was there, but no matching creatures of the sea. Now, I'm not the biggest fish fan, but I noticed how incomplete the table seemed to me. My first thought was, "Wow, I guess my idea about what comprises a traditional Thanksgiving meal has changed." My second thought was more intriguing. The meal, when complete with rice and fish, is actually more traditional than the way I've always conceived of it! The first Thanksgiving wasn't a bunch "English" consuming volumes of food in hushed isolation. It was a celebration with the local natives as an expression of thanks to God who had brought them through unbelievable hardship and irretrievable loss. You can't tell me there wasn't fish and probably (wild) rice at that first Thanksgiving. So, what did we do on Thanksgiving? We celebrate it, perhaps much more "traditionally" than you do in the States! Now for the leftovers . . . .

1 comment:

Jen said...

Great blog, Eric! I think Karyn had a similar experience as me. Some of our students were poking at the cranberry sauce when they asked me, "what is this?" in hushed voices. I told them what it was and all four of them started to giggle- they thought it was fish! FISH?! That?! Well, I am surprised there wasn't fish, but am even more surprised that they thought the cranberry sauce was fish. I love them- I learn something new every day.