Thanksgiving is an American holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year. It is a time to gather with friends and family to eat food, give thanks, and prepare for the onslaught of the holiday season. This can be a difficult time for international students, particularly Americans, who can’t be home with their families on such a family-oriented holiday.
The Global Room helps combat the homesickness with a Thanksgiving Celebration held every year. “It is my singular talisman against homesickness around Thanksgiving,” says Mary McKillop, a JS Physiology student from Michigan.
At this celebration of Thanksgiving, you can find none of the turkey, cranberry sauce, or mashed potatoes that make up the stereotypical image of a Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, guests ate as much pie as they could stomach. Apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, whichever you so choose, with a plate and fork and a turkey hat for good measure. It isn’t just Americans who come to celebrate, despite Thanksgiving predominantly being an American holiday.
Students from Russia, Luxembourg, India, and, of course, Ireland, also join the festivities to eat pie and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and a continuous video of a fireplace spread across the Global Room’s wall of screens. “I think it’s the best event of the Global Room, because you see so many people from different cultures coming together to be grateful,” says Christina Hamilton, a member of the Global Room staff. “And I get to wear the turkey hat!”
At its core, regardless of arguments about whether or not marshmallows belong on mashed sweet potatoes, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you have, which you could have guessed that from the name, which is one of the reasons it can be so difficult to be far from home on this particular holiday. “It’s nice that this is happening,” says Elle Buckvold, a SF student from Minnesota. “It’s one of the few events in Dublin for Thanksgiving.”
As a result, it is here that students carry on that somewhat cheesy tradition of going around the room, telling each other what you’re thankful for. “I’m really thankful we have events like this, not just for Thanksgiving, for everyone,” says Rachel Hanger, a SF Maths student from Virginia, adding, “you don’t realize how much it means to you until it’s not the norm”.
Thanksgiving in the Global Room is a lovely, heartwarming event that, while aimed at Americans, can be enjoyed by all. As said by Joseph Lanzillotta, a member of the Global Room staff, “Thanksgiving isn’t just an American holiday, because everyone can be grateful for the things in your life.” And I, personally, am grateful to have such an effective homesickness cure in my life. And pie.