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.
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: