One of the benefits of our friendship family program is the chance for students in the Northwest Community College Initiative program to experience American life outside of the classroom. They often have the chance to celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas in the homes of our friendship families. Here Lutfun Naher, a student at Edmonds Community College from Bangladesh, shares her post-holiday reflection on Thanksgiving:
Before I came to the U.S. and had roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie with my friendship family, I thought that Thanksgiving was a religious day for Christians. Though in 2008 I had attended a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of James Moriarty, the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, I wasn’t clear about the historical background of Thanksgiving. By partaking in the Thanksgiving dinner with my friendship family, Paul and Linda Kappus, I got the chance to know about the actual reason of celebrating Thanksgiving. It is not a religious day but an old traditional day of thankfulness for good harvest and the preceding year which began in 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The day of Thanksgiving was a wonderful day for me; I was surprised by the special arrangement of the Thanksgiving dinner by my loving and caring friendship family. The dining table was fully decorated with different foods and other varieties. I helped my friendship mother, Linda, prepare the biggest turkey I have ever seen. I couldn’t even believe that I was going to have that big turkey. I had wondered about Thanksgiving since I was in Bangladesh. I wondered why people eat only turkey (not chicken or other meat). Before starting the dinner, my friendship father explained the actual historical background of Thanksgiving and he also explained the reason of having turkey so I didn’t need to ask any questions.
All their family members came to my friendship family’s house to join the dinner. While we were eating, we shared what we were thankful for. I had pumpkin pie, which was the best dessert ever. I asked my friendship mom to teach me how to make pumpkin pie. She said that she would teach me over winter break. I will miss Thanksgiving dinner next year because any other Thanksgiving dinner will never be like this one.