Thanksgiving: My Way

Julie Alderman
November 26, 2013

Going abroad in the fall brings a big dilemma come November: what do I do for Thanksgiving?

For me, Thanksgiving is the one holiday of the year where my extended family gathers together. We eat copious amounts of food, fight about politics and watch football. From what I gather, that tends to be the “American experience.”

There are quite a few options here in Amsterdam. One that keeps popping up in my inbox every few days is to join IES for their Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a potluck, so everyone brings a dish. I would be at a loss if I were to sit down for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner without my Aunt Kim’s stuffing. If anything, this might make me more homesick.

Another option is to ignore it altogether. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and means literally nothing to the Dutch. Everything is still open. I could go to Burger Bar if I wanted to. But, if I did that I might feel a bit pathetic (and not because it would be my third visit this month).

This year, however, there is a great opportunity. For the first time in our lifetime, Thanksgiving coincides with the beginning of Hanukkah. Being Jewish, I am eager to bring both together. When I told my friends – Jewish and not Jewish – here of my intentions to make latkes they were eager to jump on board.

Not only is it Hanukkah, but some of my friends at the Conservatory have a concert that night. Surrounded by my friends, having a meal I cooked and listening to beautiful music. Could anyone ever imagine a better Thanksgiving away from home?

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Julie Alderman

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&rsquo;m Julie Alderman, a junior at the George Washington University studying political communication, and I&rsquo;m ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Amsterdam. I love strong coffee, good writing and all types of music (from opera to country). I hail from Manlius, New York, a small town outside of Syracuse and I am ready to live it up in Amsterdam and travel all around Europe!</span></p>

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