An American Tradition Lost in Translation

Thanksgiving is this Thursday which means this will be the first major holiday that I won't be spending with my family. And while it's making me miss home, I am not homesick. I already bought some peas and I will be buying a pre-cooked chicken to celebrate the American holiday. And while it's not quite the same, I still have a lot to be thankful for. 

But apart from me missing my family, what is proving to be a big challenge is explaining to Europeans why I am sad to be missing thanksgiving. And the more I try to explain it, in French I might add, the more confused I get about this holiday. So I tell them the story. Except in France there is no politically correct word for Native Americans, it's still "Indians" over here. For the kids that I watch, they think we celebrate a famous meal and that we recreate it every year. True, but there's more to it. "So Christmas without presents?" Yes let's go with that. But for the adults, who know the history, they don't seem to get why we celebrate a holiday that eventually led to the massacre of thousands of Native Americans. So I try to explain that yes that's our gruesome history but we celebrate thanksgiving for something more than that. Yes we turn a blind eye but we also celebrate the coming together of friends and family. We celebrate all the things that we're thankful for in our life. But then again trying to explain that with my limited French vocabulary makes them more confused. So I go back to what the kids say and explain that it's like Christmas without gifts, and maybe more food.

So to my family: thank you all for all your support. I love you and miss you very much! Enjoy thanksgiving and eat lots of stuffing for me! 

You Might Also Like


Comments? Questions? Advice? Let me know: