Khalida Parveen from Pakistan is a Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) alumni who studied business at Pierce College in 2012-2013. Here she shares her favorite memories about Thanksgiving.
During my exchange year at Pierce, I learned a lot about US culture, met many people, and visited many places, but one event was very entertaining and different. I am talking about Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in November each year. Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, the first thing comes to my mind is an image of my friend Precious holding a turkey. We studied together at Pierce College last year as participants in NWCCI.
My advisor told us about the holiday, and we had a small celebration before Thanksgiving where we cooked the turkey my friend won in a drawing at the college. A generous lady told us how to cook it when she saw Precious holding the turkey on the bus. She gave us her business card to in case we needed any help. One of our friends from Brazil ended up cooking it for us. Besides the turkey, they made mashed potatoes and pasta. My mouth is watering when I remember those good times.
Before starting, all of the NWCCI participants gave a small speech by thanking God and for his or her blessings and we shed tears knowing that we will be leaving each other someday. Our party ended happily with a lot of picture taking and laughter. The real celebration was still to come, however.
My friendship and host family had both invited us for Thanksgiving, but I went to my former host family as we hadn’t had time to see each other. I got dressed up and my host family came to pick me up. When I reached her home I was surprised to see that all her family members were there. She cooked a lot of food and was very happy when she told me which food had pork in it, since I don’t eat pork due to religious reasons.
After sitting around the table we prayed and before starting the food my host mom’s daughter shared the history of thanksgiving. We shared food and during the dinner my host mom’s friends asked me many questions about Pakistan. I was a little sad to see the negative perception about Pakistan, but was glad to tell them some positive aspects of my beloved country. I captured all these moments in my camera, which will be with me as long as I am alive. We ended up by thanking God for his blessings.
Thanksgiving is a time for the expression of gratitude, especially to God. It’s a day to get together with the family, a day off of work and a day to reflect on all you have.