Thanksgiving: An international perspective

By Brandon Johnston / Special to the Delta

Thanksgiving is a huge, country-wide holiday in America, but many of the international student population here at Missouri Valley College have little or no idea what it is about, other than they get three days off of school.

Some U.S. students may think that Thanksgiving is a universal holiday known around the world. But in reality it is a very American holiday, which is often not celebrated outside of the United States. Brazillian Senior Larissa Francisco said she did not know what Thanksgiving was until she came to America. 

“Honestly, I never heard about Thanksgiving until I came here,” said Francisco. 

Sophomore Daiki Morita from Japan said that he didn’t know about Thanksgiving but, “knew Black Friday because I often use internet shops such as Amazon.”

This is the same in their home countries. Freshman Joshua Tiplady from New Zealand said people from back home know the name of Thanksgiving but not really what it is about. Many international students on campus share the same understanding before they come to America, and according to Francisco only learn from what they see on TV shows.

However, what they do know about is the Black Friday sales. Thanksgiving is known more internationally for the Black Friday than the actual holiday. This is not only because of online websites such as Amazon, but also the expansion of the Black Friday sales to stores worldwide. 

Tiplady said that he has, “heard the name,” but doesn’t know exactly what Black Friday is for or why it is a thing. This basically sums up the knowledge of international students on Thanksgiving. 

Many students know the name of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but aren’t sure of the exact meaning behind it. All three of the international students I spoke to are staying on campus over the break. 

This could be a reason for the lack of knowledge as most internationals don’t get a chance to experience a true, American Thanksgiving. 

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