Not Everyone Celebrates Thanksgiving

It is time to take down the ghost and pumpkins, put away the candy bowls and take a look at the list of things that society should be thankful for. 

Cartoon courtesy of Pinterest
Cartoon courtesy of Pinterest

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and by now every Wildcat knows that the campus will be closed from Nov. 22 to 26 so that they can spent time with family and friends in this rich American tradition. 

But, what about those among us that are not Americans whose roots may lie elsewhere around the globe? 

According to College Data, international students comprise 2.1 percent of the students at Bethune-Cookman University. They represent 37 difference countries. 

Looking around campus, it is easy to see that they are very involved in campus life. Most excel in the classroom and play dominant roles on B-CU sport teams, especially tennis and golf. 

All of which begs the question of what do they think of this most American of holidays? Do they celebrate Thanksgiving or not? 

Nairat Al-nazir Ahmed is a freshman from East Africa studying to become a nurse. "I found out about Bethune-Cookman through my brother. He graduated from the same university and now working in the CIT," Ahmed said. "All I know about Thanksgiving is that it's a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This day began as giving thanks. Giving thanks for the present and future. It's when families reunite and get together to eat delicious food and enjoy the rest of the day." 

She said she has never celebrated Thanksgiving. "It's my first time. For me, Thanksgiving is more like a normal day because back at home we don't celebrate it." 

Cartoon courtesy of Toats.org
Cartoon courtesy of Toats.org

No surprise there if you consider that this is truly an American holiday. No doubt that most international students were not taught at a young age that Thanksgiving originated in North America and was marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. 

Ahmed, meanwhile, said that she does not have a holiday similar to Thanksgiving in her country. That aside, she said B-CU does a great job of making the international students feel comfortable.

By Rennae Morgan