By CONNIE P CHIN and ERIN HOLLOWAY
Editor: MICHELLE DANNER
On Tuesday, November 24, New Mind Education hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for all UPP students in Talley Student Union at North Carolina State University. The NCSU New Mind staff as well as interns and students attended this event. The dinner began with Dalhya Lusk presenting the origins of Thanksgiving and what the holiday means to Americans today. Not only did she mention that Thanksgiving brings American families together, but she also explained the darker parts of the origin that Thanksgiving has.
“I think Thanksgiving is a very special holiday among the world because it has a very controversial background history,” one of the UPP students, Mao Lingchao, said after the presentation. “But now America is diverse and everybody, Indians and Americans, should celebrate together.”
Dalhya’s presentation also included information about many modern day Thanksgiving traditions like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Black Friday shopping, and the NFL Thanksgiving games. Informing the students about the negative origins of Thanksgiving was important because the students should be educated on both the good and bad of American history and culture so they can have more of an unbiased perspective on the United States.
Then the students were given the chance to write a postcard to someone who they are most thankful for. Each student was given a forever stamp so they can send their postcard overseas if they wanted. This gave the students a chance to appreciate important people in their lives, especially since for many of the students, those people are hundreds of miles away from their loved ones. When asked what he felt was the most important part of Thanksgiving, Richard Zhao said, “Family.”
Another UPP student, Theresa Liao, also felt that family was an important aspect of Thanksgiving. She said, “I think that Thanksgiving is a day an American family spends together. Their grandparents make dinner for their family and grandchildren. And they usually eat turkey. Most of the Christian families pray before they eat to thank the God. I think it’s the sweetest holiday during the year.”
After the gratitude activity, the Thanksgiving dinner buffet was open to the students. NCSU’s RAVE! catering provided the food: a delicious spread of turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, stuffing, salad with dressings, corn, and dinner rolls. There were also pumpkin pies and apple pies. During dinner, students watched “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” a show that many Americans grew up watching during Thanksgiving. As far as what Thanksgiving food students liked most, a majority of them absolutely loved the mashed potatoes and gravy, while the stuffing was many of the students’ least favorite. One UPP student really liked the pumpkin pies. She said she had at least three pies on her own!
Since most of these students planned to stay in Raleigh for Thanksgiving break, it was important for these students to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy time with their classmates, especially since most of the campus and the surrounding area would be closed for the holiday.