Courtesy of Danielle Faerberg
Ever since the first one 400 years ago, Thanksgiving has evolved into a holiday where people are able to intertwine their various cultures and traditions with the original holiday. From carving the turkey to sitting around the table saying what everyone is thankful for, there are many Thanksgiving staples that most Americans know and love. However, various WCHS students also practice traditions that are special and unique to their families.
Although Thanksgiving is often regarded as “turkey day,” there are many people who believe that turkey is overrated even on this holiday. Complaints range from it being too dry to too bland. Because of this, some people, such as junior Lucy Wu’s family, choose to not eat turkey altogether and instead look to other meats as an alternative.
“My family doesn’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving because we think that it’s dry,” Wu said. “We have chicken instead, but we cook it in the traditional way that you would cook a turkey. It’s a way to respect the tradition while eating something that we enjoy more.”
While junior Kaitlyn Li’s family enjoys celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey, they are able to incorporate some of their Chinese culture into the classic American holiday by serving it with a twist.
“We have a Chinese dish called Babao Ya on Thanksgiving,” Li said. “It is basically a duck with rice and nuts all stuffed inside of a turkey. It’s a nice way for my family to add in some of our Chinese heritage to our meal.”
Many families choose to take a moment out of their Thanksgiving festivities to reflect on what the meaning of the holiday is and to express what they are thankful for. However, instead of just saying aloud what they are thankful for, junior Danielle Faerberg’s family has a unique approach.
“Every year my whole family writes down what we are grateful for on a tablecloth,” Faerberg said. “The special thing about this is that the tablecloth has been the same for about 15 years. I love how this tradition helps to bond my family, and it’s also pretty funny to see what six-year-old me was thankful for!”
Similarly, junior Rubani Singh practices a tradition with her family that combines giving thanks with cutting the turkey. At her large Indian family gathering, this moment is the one time when everyone congregates together.
“In my family, we all gather around the turkey once it’s ready and say what we are grateful for,” Singh said. “After everyone has spoken, we cut the turkey, almost like a birthday cake, and hand some out to everyone.”
While every family has its own special ways of celebrating the holiday, for Singh, Thanksgiving is an especially significant holiday, since her family is spread out across both the United States and the world.
“Family gatherings have always been a huge part of our family dynamic, but Thanksgiving is an especially important holiday since it is the one time of the year when my whole family, even the ones who live in India, gets together to celebrate,” said Singh. “It makes the whole day even more meaningful and special since I get to spend time with my loved ones, which is really the whole meaning of Thanksgiving.”