What is American Thanksgiving like in Canada?

By Vasi – 1st year student

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You might find that surprising considering my heritage- half Russian, half Ukrainian without a single drop of American blood but, nevertheless, I do. Ever since my first year in North America, the year of 2012, when I had the pleasure of celebrating this wonderful holiday, I fell in love with it. I love everything about it- the colors, the decorations, the food, the fact that it is a holiday that is usually spent in a warm circle of friends and family… And that is exactly why I was so shocked and humbled when my American friend Jon decided to visit me at Quest on this important day. He goes to a University in Wisconsin, and, due to our block breaks not lining up with his holidays, we have not seen each other in over a year. This Thanksgiving was the first time that our days off matched, and as soon as he found that out he booked a ticket to Vancouver.

Jon comes from a big family, who all come and celebrate together during the holidays. I’ve heard countless stories about how all of his distant relatives visit and how they all decorate the house, cook a large meal and then play board games after. The pressure was on. I was going to make this Thanksgiving as special as the one he would have had at home. On Thursday morning, we went grocery shopping and bought all the products for our feast. Jon and I were invited to a potluck dinner that evening, and each of us decided to make a dish. As we walked into the store, I saw Jon go directly towards a large display of turkeys in the middle. He walked around the selection till he finally picked the one deemed appropriate. Looking for approval, he raised his gaze in question, which was quickly turned into a stare of confusion when he saw me laugh, “Oh yeah, I guess I haven’t mentioned. I am vegetarian now, and so are most of the Questies. So you might consider getting something more vegetably”. Jon put down the turkey, and we spend the rest of our time at “Save on Foods” talking about the environmental effects of animal agriculture. After we came back home, we got to cooking. I made the classic mashed potatoes, and Jon fried a delicious pan of mushrooms. The potluck was a success! According to the tradition, we all went around the table and shared what we were grateful for. It was a wonderful evening full of warm smiles, good food, and great company. And, an icing on the cake was how happy Jon was. He told me afterwards that he greatly enjoyed his Thanksgiving and he felt like he became a part of Quest family.

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