What I Learned From My First Thanksgiving Ever

The most amusing part of Thanksgiving is the look on people’s face as they say, “They don’t have Thanksgiving in Indonesia?!” Interestingly enough, we don’t. So my quest in finding the meaning behind a holiday I’ve never celebrated begins.

It began with Google.

“Why do people celebrate Thanksgiving?”, I googled. Turns out that around October is the time for most harvest and people decided to have a day where they thank for what they harvested for the season. Makes sense. If you’re a farmer. But I guess the tradition continued that it’s now an official nationwide holiday.

And yes, I tried turkey with cranberry sauce and had two pieces of pumpkin pie for the first time in my life. I enjoyed a gathering with family friends and had a wonderful chat with most of them (especially explaining to them how Bali is Indonesia). I also had a great time shopping at an outlet mall with all the discounts going on.

But these are all traditions. And you learn nothing from traditions. I learned nothing from traditions except on how Canada does things. I learned more when I had to think of things to give thanks and made my friends and family from back home do the same.

Certainly, I got different responses and they’re all amusing. Some responses were generic: family, friends, God; and that’s not bad in anyway. There are more thought out responses such as the ability to keep in touch and the belonging of a group. And then there was one that made me think most: nothing.

The fact that someone don’t know what to give thanks about means a lot of things. Because in life everything goes so fast and sometimes you just forget to see all the things that you have around you. You have food, shelter, friends and family: something some people do not have. You have great friendships, a belonging to a community and a career. These things are such a routine that people take for granted and they simply forget they exist. And I think this is what Thanksgiving is about. Acknowledging the little things in life that you usually take for granted and give thanks about it.

So here are the 3 things I decided to give thanks for this year:

1. I’m thankful for Skype and Whatsapp that keeps me in touch with my friends and my family and as one of my friend from back home said the other night “it doesn’t feel like you’re in Canada” so it’s great that I can keep in touch!

2. I’m thankful for my really lit uni where I get to learn a lot more from everyone whos ultimately better than me in so many aspects

3. I’m really really thankful for my family who are there with me all the time and still choose to support me even when I spend $60 on an Under Armour shirt and do stupid things like eat Popeyes and Cheetos for dinner and Indomie for breakfast all the time

Of course, after giving thanks, we get to buy all the merch that are on discount in Hot Topic! I mean, look at these Eevee beanies. Aren’t they just adorable?