My family moved to the United States when I was three years old from England, where I was born. Before that my parents had moved from Australia where they were originally from. Almost all of our extended family still lives in Australia. Neither I nor my parents
have American citizenships. So why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?
For as long as I can remember my family has always done the typical American Thanksgiving. We watch the parade, eat the meal, say what we are thankful for etc. As a child, I would often get asked by my classmates how Thanksgiving is celebrated in Australia. I would explain that the American holiday is not a thing in Australia but was usually met with confusion when I explained that I did actually celebrate with my family.
My mom said that we were first introduced to the holiday by a family that we met through my preschool. They invited us over and we have celebrated ever since. As the years have gone by, sometimes a relative from Australia’s visit will coincide with the holiday. I always had a lot of fun explaining what Thanksgiving is to them and why it is celebrated in America. My mom also says that part of living in another country is embracing their customs and culture and “when in Rome, man.”
My dad said that the reason we celebrate the holiday is because my siblings are American. He says that celebrating the holiday is a way of celebrating their country. He also says that it is an American tradition that he has just found fun. He does not see it as his holiday but still enjoys it and likes what it stands for. He thinks that having a designated time to sit down and express gratitude is a really good thing.
Even though I am not American, I do have two younger siblings who were born here and do have citizenship. Celebrating this holiday is our way of connecting to the country that we have lived in for over a decade. For us, this holiday is less about the Pilgrims and getting together with our extended family (since they live thousands of miles away) and more about the celebration of the family we have here and all of the gratitude we have forour blessings. My siblings and I all really love Thanksgiving and all of the Harvey family traditions we have created for it such as building gingerbread houses. Adopting this American tradition has been a very important bonding experience for my family and I am very glad we celebrate it.