Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions - Vivian from A Dance for 5

Greetings, everyone, from Montpellier! The South of France is absolutely everything I could have hoped for and more. I am in love, love, love. Don't worry, you'll be hearing about our adventures soon enough ;) In the mean time, I hope you'll enjoy a guest post from Vivian from a Dance for Five! We made a plan to swap guest posts about our Thanksgiving traditions, so make sure you head over to her blog to read mine.  Until tomorrow - Au Revoir!

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Hello readers of Roots, Wings and other Things. My name is Vivian and I blog at Dance for 5. I am truly happy to be here today. Daryl is one of my favorite bloggers living in one of my favorite places on earth. She makes my day every time I read about her adventures far away from home. In a way, I can relate to what she writes. I love making new friends so please make sure you come on over and say “Hi.” In the meantime, enjoy this post I’ve prepared specially for you.

Thanksgiving. Just saying the word still seems a little foreign.

colombia_map_from_istock

I was born and raised in Colombia. Thanksgiving it’s not celebrated there. We don’t eat turkey and the only notion I had of a pumpkin was through the Cinderella story. We don't play nor watch football (its soccer country) and although we Colombians tend to favor new gadgets, fashion and trends, Black Friday is non-existent. I personally think, it could never be culturally possible: We don’t like lines, let alone lines out in the cold and we treasure our sleep (probably one of the reasons why we don’t age).


Every year I would always look forward to the end of November; not because of Thanksgiving but because it was my birthday. As customary my  parents would throw some elaborate and lavish birthday parties for me. When I moved here, all the focus was switched to the holidays and I was left longing for that time when it was all about me and my one year anniversary of my birth. I’ve been here long enough to call it home but have I really accepted that my life has changed? 

I was on-call at the hospital a few days this last week and my mother-in-law helped me by watching the kids. As I was saying my good-byes to the kids, she approached me showing me this gift she had brought for them.

thanksgiving figures

She told me that the day before, she had been talking to my son and he knew nothing about Thanksgiving. Was it just the mere fact of a typical 5 year-old? Or was it a mom not getting as involved with the holiday spirit? I realized then two things: That I am more than grateful that my children have a their grandma to be there for them and teach them about their heritage. And that I need to try better. Try better to know more about what made this country what it is now and embrace its past.

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As silly as it may sound, I ran to my other’s child room and took her book (with cartoons and all) about Thanksgiving to read it at work. Sometimes the most simple and childish ways are the best ways to learn. In my case, I needed a refresher bad. A reminder that it’s not only about the fancy dinner and the crafts I’ve been enthusiastically making but about saying Thanks to Life. Once long ago, the Native Americans, a “strange group of people” to the Pilgrims sacrificed their time, resources, efforts and much more so that their friends could live and progress in the land. Today, with joy and gratitude, I reflect upon the “strange group of people” who helped me turn into who I am. To those, who upon my arrival to a new country, with patiently, taught me a new language, a new culture, a new lifestyle.

On this Thanksgiving, like every year since I' moved to this country, we will get together with family and friends. We will do one thing different: we will talk and reflect on the real meaning of the holiday.

And we will do a few other things just the same: 

1. We will eat turkey and incorporate tamales and flan to the menu.

2. The next day I won’t go shopping, instead I will be getting my beauty sleep, going for a massage and getting my feet ready for a night of Latin Dancing. After all, it's my Birthday!

Vivian dancing 2

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be and hoping you find peace in knowing gratitude heals and uplifts the soul.

Vivian

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