Written by Zoe Manoukian
Thus far in my year abroad, I have not felt many sentiments of homesickness. In fact, I rarely get homesick. However, once November hits I find myself feeling a bit nostalgic for my friends and family back in Ohio. Now, halfway through November, I am beginning to feel that nostalgia, especially as I am about to spend my first Thanksgiving break away from home.
Thanksgiving break is normally a time for me to reconnect with the sides of my family that I only get to see a few times a year, and the realization that I was going to miss out this year made me feel a little lonely. I’m, also, simply going to miss sharing corn dish and green bean casserole with the ones I love– as fine as French cuisine is, I’m afraid they overlook some staples here! Unlike many American holidays, Thanksgiving is not a day that is even remotely celebrated in France for many logical reasons.
Initially, I felt as though this meant that I would have to entirely forego a day of dinner and camaraderie. However, I quickly realized that the lack of any such autumn holiday meant that my American friends and I could introduce a tradition of our own to people who may have never tried pumpkin pie or eaten an entire Turkey over the course of one afternoon (actually, Turkey here seems to be mostly offered in cold cuts. We will be serving rotisserie chicken in lieu of it.).
I am looking forward to sharing American dishes with my friends from abroad, as well as engaging in oft verboten political discourse with students who come from entirely different backgrounds. As sad as I am to miss a week of relaxing and catching up with my family and friends, I am now looking forward to creating a new holiday that I anticipate will bring forth insightful conversation and will offer a blend of culture and tradition.