I've included two excerpts that I found interesting from a cross-cultural standpoint: one tells of making a traditional Thanksgiving dish in another country, the other tells what it is like being from another country in the midst of an American holiday.
A WOTH Shout-Out to those of you who wrote topically this past week about Thanksgiving:
- an excerpt from “Cooking Thanksgiving - Turkana style” by Lynn, Kenya
...The sweet potato casserole brings its own challenges. We do sometimes find sweet potatoes here in the small shops in Lodwar. I found some yesterday. The thing is, they are white on the inside not orange. One Thanksgiving two of my teammates decided that they wanted orange sweet potatoes so they used food coloring. At one point we had bright pink mashed sweet potatoes and we were all rolling on the floor in stitches! They did eventually get them to be orangish. This year I found a recipe that uses both carrots and sweet potatoes. So, I am hoping the orange carrots will help get the color right. This recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream. You can't just run out to the store and get sour cream here. So, I use a canned cream and mix it with 2 Tbs of vinegar to make it sour. [for the rest of her yummy menu "Turkana-style," click here.]
- an excerpt from “A letter to Americans outside America” by Wendy, Japan
I have to admit that I feel ambivalent about your Thanksgiving.
Giving thanks is important, I acknowledge that and I practise it every day. And I appreciate that your holiday gives us a 3 1/2 day weekend at CAJ — a welcome break from school and work. But it is your celebration. Not mine. It is full of things that you grew up knowing, food and fellowship that you will always associate with good times.
Where I grew up, this time of year was associated with the increasing heat of the days and nights. With exams, tests and assignment and the imminent end of the school year. With end of year parties. With the anticipation of a long summer break. The cricket season was heating up and the school year winding down.
But never did I associate the end of November with all things orange and brown. Never did I think about turkey or pumpkin pie. Never had I even wondered what holiday Americans celebrated at this time of year, before I came to Japan. We Australians have no equivalent to your Thanksgiving. Our history is very different to yours in so many ways...Your Aussie friend, Wendy. [for the complete post, click here]
Thank you, Lynn and Wendy! Here's what stood out from your posts: the visual of pink potatoes (Lynn) and a point of view I had never considered and the courage to write it (Wendy). To the rest of our writers, here's my prompt for you: Is there something that would take a bit of courage to write about, something that you've been wanting to get off your chest, something that you've been wondering if you are alone in the way you feel? Then I challenge you to "do a Wendy" and write it out...I'll come looking for it this week :).