Celebrating Holidays While Studying Abroad
Thanksgiving was last week, and I wanted to share what it was like for me in France. Since Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in France I had school, but I celebrated with my host family in the evening. I’m vegetarian so I didn’t cook a turkey, but I did make mashed potatoes and an apple pie! This was nice for me to have familiar food and for my host family to get to try what I usually eat on this holiday.
After we ate, I made hand turkeys with my host family. Hand turkeys are a craft I did in elementary school where you trace your hand, add a beak and feathers to make it look like a turkey, and write things you’re thankful for on the fingers. It’s kind of cheesy and I haven’t made one in ages but I thought it would be fun to do with my host family. And it was! We talked about things that we’re thankful for and we all had a good time coloring the turkeys. Then I showed them the Thanksgiving episode of Charlie Brown! I found out that when my host parents were kids they and a bunch of their friends had posters of Snoopy in their rooms, it was cool to find out that they have a connection to Charlie Brown too.
One of my favorite parts of studying abroad is my host family. They show me what it’s like to be French and their culture and so it was nice to be able to share a bit about this holiday with them! My tip for anyone studying abroad who wants to share a holiday with their host family is to not worry about it too much. If you want to go all out to celebrate that’s great, but your host family will appreciate even getting to know a little bit about what you usually do. You could even tell them about your family’s traditions and maybe show them some pictures! My Thanksgiving this year was a bit different than it usually is, but I really enjoyed spending it with my host family and getting to share a bit of my culture with them.