Thanksgiving Celebrations Overseas
There are several things to worry about when you are relocating overseas. You might wonder if you will find a job, if you will learn the new language, if you will make new friends, how your quality of life might be, and many more. One thing that often goes overlooked, until the time of year approaches, is how you are going to feel during the holiday season. Often, most countries do not celebrate the same holidays that they do in America. This holds especially true for uniquely American holidays like Thanksgiving. Here are some solutions for problems that may arise during Thanksgiving overseas and abroad.
One of the biggest traditions involving Thanksgiving is that it is a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy a large feast. Obviously if you have moved thousands of miles away, this might not be an option for you, causing you to get a little homesick. The best solution to this problem is communication. Call your loved ones back home and let them know you are thinking of them. You could also utilize internet services like chat programs or video chat, if they are willing to go that route. Your loneliness could be assuaged be seeing a friendly face or hearing a familiar voice. At the very least, sending an e-card or actual card over the mail will let them know that you are thinking of them.
How to Celebrate With Your New Friends
Another problem might be that the area that you move to does not celebrate Thanksgiving whatsoever. Part of the reason that we get into the season, is because of all the advertising we see on television and the internet on a daily basis. However, if you are in a place that does not celebrate the holiday, you will not see such advertisement. But just because your new place does not have Thanksgiving, does not mean you cannot bring Thanksgiving to them. Invite your new friends and coworkers over and have your own festival. Provided that there is no religious or moral roadblocks, they will probably be excited to learn more about your culture, especially if you have shown interest in theirs. Who knows, you might start a brand new tradition in your international location.
To go along with having your own celebration, it might be problematic if the foods that are commonly associated with Thanksgiving are not available in your area. There are two things that you can do to solve this problem. First, if your new country allows it, you could always order online or have your friends and family ship you the foods that you require. Not every country will allow foods to be imported in however, so you might have to go another route. In this case, you have already started a new tradition of Thanksgiving, why not switch up the food options as well? This might even help you get your new friends to attend your event, and they can bring a dish to pass. Besides, the point of the holiday is not the turkey and mashed potatoes, but bringing together the people you care about and sharing an experience of togetherness and thankfulness.
Last, as we all know, Thanksgiving is always celebrated on a Thursday ever year. Even though in America it is a national holiday that a lot of employees get a paid day off for, overseas it may just be like any other word day, meaning you will be expected to show up and work like any other day. Chances are your new boss knows that you are from America, especially if you are in this new area as a result of a job transfer, so you could always request the day off. If it is not possible for you to get the day off, you could always just postpone your celebration to the weekend, or the next day that you have available. Just like the food situation, the point of the holiday is to come together with loved ones, and that feeling can be had on a Saturday just as easily as a Thursday.
There are always ways you can bring your old culture to your new area, and your new friends will probably be excited to share those concepts with you. Because of this, you can celebrate the holiday season very closely to the way you did back home, and help yourself get over any homesickness that you may have.