Remembering an International Thanksgiving in France…

It’s hard to believe 4 years have passed since my first Thanksgiving in France. While I was in grad school in Puyricard, near Aix-en-Provence, France, I kept a blog to document and share the experience. For today’s post, I pulled a few photos from that blog to share my international Thanksgiving in France.

The business school I attended at the time, was made up of graduate-level students from around the world. Roughly 40% of the student population was French. Everyone else came from neighboring European countries, the US, Canada and countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India, the Dominican Republic, China and parts of Africa. Every Friday at noon, there was a student-organized International Lunch open to anyone who wanted to bring a dish from their home country.

Of course, the Friday after Thanksgiving 2009 was special for the Americans, many of whom missed the comfort foods that frequently show up at a Thanksgiving meal. Nearly twenty of us organized ourselves to account for as many traditional Thanksgiving dishes as we could find ingredients for at the market.

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We spent the night before cooking, and brought our Thanksgiving meal on the city bus to school the next day.

Thanksgiving doesn’t carry much significance in France since it commemorates a relationship between pilgrims to the New World and its native inhabitants. Still, we felt it necessary to share the celebration that most of us Americans have grown to love, by bringing a Thanksgiving meal to the International Lunch for our new friends from around the world.

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“Oh wow, the US has more than just hamburgers and hotdogs!” 

I remember sitting next to a few German students who were surprised to find that American’s have traditional meals that don’t include burgers and hotdogs. It’s amazing what you can learn about your own culture at an international table.

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