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An International Attitude of Gratitude at a Thanksgiving far from Home

Posted on | December 2, 2011 | Written by Josh Rubenstein | No Comments

I rarely get homesick living in Hong Kong.  But there are certain things that put me over, such as seeing my nieces sing Katy Perry songs on Skype and, more recently, missing a Thanksgiving day of turkey and rooting for whomever is playing against the Dallas Cowboys with the whole family. And I missed the tradition of drinking Pinot Noir alone while the rest of my family drinks Coca-Cola. Every family to their own.

Last week my dear friend Emily, a woman of proper English descent, organized a Thanksgiving dinner to make me feel less homesick. More than just a celebratory meal, the event reminded me of what I love most about Thanksgiving, and that is declaring what we are thankful for. This year I was so thankful for Emily organizing a dinner of six people from America, New Zealand, England, Wales and Ireland at a French Brasserie in Hong Kong. It was warm enough to wear shorts, and I was without football. However, as everyone took their turn to declare their thanks for something, and it did get a bit sappy at points, I was reminded of what is so special about Hong Kong, an ultimate East-Meets-West universe where we’re all very different, yet so alike.

I regret to inform you that my friends refused to indulge me by performing Katy Perry songs together. Nor did they buy my explanation that Thanksgiving is the day when Europeans shower Americans with expensive gifts and praise. But perhaps new traditions were born. United by various bottles of Pinot Noir, we found common ground in need to express thanks. I suppose the more bottles we opened, the more thankful we became. The pie at the end was the gravy on top of a tremendous HK Thanksgiving.


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