International Students' View on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break is a chance for most MU students to go back home for the first time in months to see family and friends. However, for international students, this is not the case.

Instead, Trang Duong, an MU junior from Vietnam, will go to a friend’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. After Thanksgiving, she will return to MU to cook traditional Vietnamese food with friends and spend the rest of the week with them.

MU freshman from Taiwan, Chang Hsu, will visit his godmother in Seattle, Washington, then get together with some Taiwanese high school friends.

As for grad student Yunung Lee, also from Taiwan, she will be at her host family’s home for the week, waiting for an invitation to attend Thanksgiving from either a friend or her host family. She says that there is no more room at her host family’s table for her to join in the meal.

The first time Duong had heard about Thanksgiving was when she came to MU four months ago.
Duong likes the idea of Thanksgiving because "people have time to gather as a union," she said.

“Thanksgiving is not per our tradition, but the experience is interesting,” Hsu said.

“Taiwan has a lot of family reunion holidays where people gather to enjoy time together and eat food,” Lee said.

According to Lee and Hsu, a popular holiday around this time is the Moon Festival. Lee says the moon is a symbol of reunion, and families celebrate this holiday by getting together and sharing dinner and moon cakes.

Other family reunion holidays celebrated in Taiwan are the Winter Solstice and the Chinese New Year, Hsu said.

By: Ashley Szatala | Image: Source


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