November 23, 2000 Thanksgiving Day
The United States observes the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving. Our first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 in Massachusetts by 50 Plymouth pilgrims and their 90 Wampanoag neighbors. Since then, Thanksgiving was held pretty randomly until it found its regular place on the fourth Thursday of November in 1941.
Turkey is the traditional dish for the Thanksgiving feast, although there is no official reason for its use. It just happened to be the most plentiful meat available at the time of the first Thanksgiving, which set the precedence for the tradition. Other traditional Thanksgiving foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, yams, and cranberries.
I grew up eating Thanksgiving dinners at Aunty Keiko’s house on the Big Island. As I look back upon my Thanksgiving holidays, I remember a familiar night of aunties, uncles, and cousins. Sometimes we played ping-pong, and sometimes we jumped on the trampoline, but otherwise we just talked story, and enjoyed a peaceful night over a wonderful dinner. I remember the year that Uncle Jimmy had a new electric saw-like knife to carve the turkey. And, as the years passed, my tastebuds grew accustomed to the foods that I originally didn’t care for. Even through my four years away at college, I always came home to Aunty Keiko’s for Thanksgiving.
Then I went away to Japan, and missed Thanksgiving for two years. Not only that, but I found that the Japanese don’t eat turkey! I was totally amazed. But, I also found out that they like it. So when my friends visit from Japan, my mom makes turkey for them.
Last year, I went on a business trip to Japan on Thanksgiving Day, and missed it again. So this year’s celebration was long overdue and sorely missed.
We started at Uncle Milton’s house, where my mom’s brothers and sisters celebrate Thanksgiving on Oahu. My aunty decorated the house with festive tablecloths, leaves, and scented candles. We enjoyed a delicious dinner overlooking Diamond Head from Uncle Milton’s new house atop St. Louis Heights. I had almost forgotten how wonderful Thanksgiving was!
Then, as if that weren’t enough, we had another dinner at my husband’s family’s house. Needless to say, we were as stuffed as a turkey…I haven’t been back to Aunty Keiko’s house for Thanksgiving in five years. My mom keeps me up-to-date with all the new faces that come with our growing family. Although I miss the familiar Thanksgiving of my childhood, I had fun this year, although I still hope to return to Aunty Keiko’s one day…
|Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #56（スーザン先生の英語講座）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
“I’d like to exchange this please. I bought the wrong size.”
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!|