Diverse Cultures Celebrate Thanksgiving

Lovely Pascua, Reporter

While Thanksgiving is an American tradition, students from diverse cultures celebrate the holiday similarly.

It isn’t Thanksgiving unless there’s turkey on the menu. However, the traditional Thanksgiving meal takes on an ethnic twist in many Hawaii homes.

Lerome and her family have a big dinner planned. “We eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and the usual American foods,”  sophomore Amber Salamasina-Ierome. “But, seeing as we’re Samoan also, we eat Taro and Palusami [taro leaves and coconut cream].”

Sophomore Devon Atkins, who is from Trinidad (southermost island from the Caribbean Sea), skips the turkey and includes a traditional drink with his meal.

“During Thanksgiving we usually eat baked curry chicken, stew chicken, and rice,” Atkins said. “Sorrel is made when we celebrate Thanksgiving.” Sorrel is a spiced, iced team and is a favorite West Indian drink made during the holidays.

While food may be at the forefront of this holiday, many spend the day with their families.

“Gathering with my family, just enjoying being with them and the things we do together is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving,” Salamasina-Ierome said.  “I feel so thankful for my family and the food we have every year.”

Sophomore Angelo King, who is Filipino, is no exception when it comes to pairing up good company and food.

“Thanksgiving is a joyful celebration. My family gathers up with all my relatives, and we celebrate by eating together,” King said. “While we eat, we like to share stories, just to catch up with what’s happening. It’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621, as a harvest celebration of the pilgrims and Native Americans. The celebration was a three-day feast, in which the local natives participated.

The initial Thanksgiving wasn’t a holiday. It was simply a gathering. Until, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day an official holiday and was celebrated ever since.