Friday, November 28, 2008
THANKSGIVING, EX-PAT STYLE
As a matter of rule, "Thanksgiving" doesn't exist in Romania. It is, as we celebrate it, a purely American tradition. But we celebrated it anyway yesterday. I noticed that we "feel like it is Thanksgivning," whether the others around us feel that way or not. We ate all the regular foods, and did all the regular things and we did this with two other American families. All told, there were six adults and 12 kids crammed into a small house here in Bucharest. It was very much what we expected and it was more than a "substitute" of it. Also, each family brought foods and ideas of Thanksgiving that were unique to them, even though we all were from the same culture. We represented South Carolina, Oklahoma and New Jersey.
We've celebrated T-day so differently here. In the past, we've spent it with people form everywhere.... Canada, Slovakia, Romania, England. Living in Romania has taught us many things. One of the things we've learned is that we still enjoy (maybe even relish) our ideas and traditions after they are turned on their head by our outward circumstances. We have learned to take what we have and find a way to enjoy it, instead of bemoaning how it isn't like what we kew in the past.
There was no football, so the older kids threw a ball (pretending it was a football) on the alley-like street outside. There was no Macy's parade, so we'll try to stand in the cold and watch Romania's annual Military Parade on Monday (a holiday, celebrating Unirii Day which is akin the their 4th of July). There was no sale paper with all the treats awaiting us at the mall on Friday, so we might take a bus to IKEA and just pretend a while.
But there was love.