Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I give Thanks for Thanksgiving in Argentina

I had always thought Thanksgiving was a celebration that revolved around food. In fact, the last time I celebrated it I drove 13 hours, from Fort Worth, TX to St. Louis, Missouri with a group of college friends, to celebrate it with home cooking.

However, this year I realized that food is only a plus; the celebration is not the same separated from family traditions.

Hoping to relive the experience, November 24 of 2006, I celebrated Thanksgiving with a groups of American friends at “Kansas” in Buenos Aires.

We enjoyed stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce, smashes sweet potatoes with nuts, creamed spinach and mashes potatoes with gravy, and we gave thanks for everything we have.

However, it didn’t really feel like Thanksgiving. Even though our palates had traveled to the US since the restaurant’s cooks had perfectly achieved traditional Thanksgiving recipes, the spirit of camaraderie was missing. You couldn’t sense that fraternal spirit that is born while everyone prepares the food together, pealing potatoes, baking casseroles, beating eggs for the cake, checking the oven, etc.

On top of that, we only had two choices for dessert: either pumpkin pie or pecan pie, while in St. Louis, my friend’s mom had prepared 12 pies, one for eat person.

Even though I am not American, and this celebration does not affect me directly, I think it is nice to reserve a day (in this case the fourth Thursday of November) to give thanks for all the things we have been blessed with.

A Piece of History
Pilgrims from Virginia were the first one to celebrate Thanksgiving to thank Squanto for his collaboration, back on December 4, 1619.

Squanto had learned to speak English on one of his trips to Europe and he helped the pilgrims to interact with the natives. Squanto also thought pilgrims to fish for eels, to harvest corn, which enabled them to survive the adversity of the new land.

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