Embracing Thanksgiving

I never quite knew what the big deal was with Thanksgiving.  I only knew that it was a day for families to get together and celebrate with food.  Moreover, I also knew from my previous job that most of my American colleague would by not available to help with any technical issues that occur during that time, so I was on my own.  But this year, I celebrated my first Thanksgiving with a bunch of good JET people at a friend’s place.  As an Australian, where we do not celebrate such an occasion, I was able to embrace it and celebrate with great people.

It was an interesting and fun experience to celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time while being in Japan.  Typically, a turkey is served as part of the meal, but this year, there was no turkey but pork belly instead amongst other delicious foods made for other folks at the party. I cooked roast Pork Belly and it was a great success.  Many thanks to my dear friend, A, who texted me her recipe and gave me special tips on the cooking process.  Much love for you A.  I cooked it at my friend’s home oven and lucky it turned out great.  The people who tasted it at the party gave me positive comments thankfully.

Pre-cooked Pork Belly

I may not be American, but I do now see the significance in this holiday celebration.  Its a time for people to come together as a family; think about what they are grateful for and celebration that.  I learnt this from my colleague, A.  He also have me a tiny history lesson where the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621.

As a modern day way to celebrate there is such a thing called hand turkeys.  My understanding is that the idea of hand turkeys are used for people to write down what they are thankful for.  I ended up getting my students to embrace this celebration with me and make hand turkeys together.  Basically a hand turkey is getting someone to draw their hand of a piece of people; draw the thumb so that it looks like the head of the turkey with a beck, and the fingers look like the feathers of the turkey.   On the body of the turkey, a message is write to say what you are grateful for.  I made a number of collages using my students hand turkeys and hung them in the hall way of the school.  Here are some photos of the collages:

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