“Non-Traditional” Thanksgiving Traditions


Graphic made by A. Guo

Green Level students share their own cultural foods, activities, and practices around the American holiday of Thanksgiving. If you take any good pictures of your own Thanksgiving food, activities, or traditions, send them to us on the Instagram!

Thanksgiving is often associated with Turkeys and parades in the context of Americans who have long heritage in the country’s past. Many Green Level students, though, are first generation students, people of color, or immigrants themselves who celebrate Thanksgiving their own way.

Mina Bayraktar is a senior who says she and her family typically eat a combination of traditional dishes like turkey and sweet potatoes in addition to traditional Turkish dishes, “Thanksgiving for me is a nice break close to the end of the year that allows me to get away from the stress of school. I am not sure if the things I do on Thanksgiving can be considered celebrating.”

For others like freshman Fatima Hussain and senior Asmi Palakodeti, Thanksgiving is a day to practice thankfulness and appreciate all you have. Hussain says they typically eat biryani, while Palakodeti’s family dines with dishes of, “Pulihora, idli, sambar, paneer makhani.”

The historical origins of Thanksgiving conflict with the values of some students like Jaya sophomore Nadella, “I celebrate just because my family has always celebrated it,” or junior Tina Dongara, who says Thanksgiving is just a fun day to eat a lot of food. 

Some people like Bayraktar attend family friend dinners, or even potlucks like Liane Ma who says dishes range from, “Dumplings, buns, bing, to other dishes.”

No matter the foods you eat, the activities you do, or people you spend your time with, be sure to take care of yourself and give yourself a break over the well-deserved week off.