Thanksgiving is much more than a day of turkey, mashed potatoes and football. It has come to be a family reunion where stories are shared and culture is celebrated. The simple task of giving thanks has evolved into a celebration that involves mixing people and their customs.
The stereotypical image of the American colonists sitting down with the Native Americans for a meal has transformed into friends and family from all over the world attending the same dinner table.
The traditional holiday meal has also been changed according to who is eating it. Originally, a turkey in the oven and some homemade cranberry sauce meant Thanksgiving in the United States. Now, times have changed and new customs have found their spot on the menu.
There is a turkey present, but instead of traditional gravy and stuffing, we use traditional middle eastern spices or Pakistani or Indian masalas which are variations of curry sauces to give the meat a more authentic taste, says Hana Malik, of Easton, a senior at Joel Barlow High School, Redding.
This delicious change brings new ideas to what people are willing to try on this special day. In the future, the classic bowl of mashed potatoes can have a local twist.
Gretchen Kuhsel, of Easton, a senior at Joel Barlow High School says, My mom is ordering a couple pounds of parmesan mashed potatoes from the Easton Village Store to switch the meal up this year.
Along with the abundance of food, Thanksgiving brings numerous people together to celebrate. The gathering ranges from having a couple of people over to having dozens of people over.
In total, about 25 people are at my house for the holiday, says Kaeli Previlge, of Easton, a senior at Joel Barlow High School.
All of these people do not have to be family either. Friends, neighbors and relatives can unite and enjoy a great conversation and a meal. For teens, school can sometimes inhibit our opportunity to spend time with family and friends. However, on this particular day, school gives students some free time to spend with the people they are close to.
I feel that Thanksgiving break is long enough because we have just enough time to be with those we are thankful for, says Grace Zheng, of Orange, a sophomore at Amity High School, Woodbridge.
The relief from the endless school days allows teens to experience different customs and learn more about how people celebrate the holiday. Overall, Thanksgiving is a perfect way to incorporate differnt cultures into the daily lives of both teens and adults.
Written by Elizabeth Poland, of Orange, a sophomore at Amity High School, Woodbridge.