Living abroad to pursue a course of your choice comes with its challenges. Adjusting to the new lifestyle to ensure optimum enjoyment is the primary one. Being friends with native students, adopting their culture, and celebrating their festivals can go a long way to helping international students feel more comfortable.
For international students living in the United States of America and several other countries, Thanksgiving is a festival that holds a great deal of importance and value. Celebrating this day with the native students on campus can be a helpful way to bond and make friendships for a lifetime. If you are an international student living abroad, you are probably wondering how you can better adapt to the culture and become a part of the celebrations.
In this article, we present to you a complete guide for on-campus thanksgiving for all international students in America and other countries where this festival is celebrated.
What is Thanksgiving Day?
Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the US and many other countries on which day harvest and other blessings of the past are celebrated.
The tradition of thanksgiving was first started in 1621 when the first successful harvest was celebrated by the first settlers also known as pilgrims along with natives in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the New World. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the USA. In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Liberia celebrates Thanksgiving Day on the first Thursday of November.
Importance of Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving is important because it is a positive and secular holiday where people celebrate the thing which is hardly seen these days – Gratitude. Also, people celebrate the harvest and the past’s blessings, which has become a longstanding tradition by now.
The day also presents a great opportunity for international students to explore the country in which they are studying and also make new friends. It helps the students to socialize. The festival provides a perfect occasion for international students to interact with each other as well as the native students.
What can international students do on Thanksgiving Day
Almost all international students eagerly wait for their first thanksgiving day, which provides an amazing opportunity to explore the traditions and the culture of the country in which they are studying. It also allows for exploring the wide range of food and cuisines of the country.
There are various thanksgiving on-campus events that students can enjoy. Some of the popular on-campus thanksgiving events are mentioned below.
- Thanksgiving Parade
Parades are one of the best events during the Thanksgiving Day programs. If you are in New York, then you should attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is one of the world’s largest parades and the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the USA. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is organized and presented by the Department Store Chain in the USA named Macy’s.
Other than New York, many other cities witness some amazing parade programs. You can enjoy yourself a lot there and explore new avenues for fun. Amazing small-level parades are also organized on campus for the students who wish to celebrate and enjoy Thanksgiving Day but avoid going out. Various colorful balloons of different varieties and different shapes are used in the parade. It is common to find small balloons shaped like the human heads of the handlers. Along with the amazing balloons, live music and other performances are included in the parade. Various recognized singers and bands perform and students get to enjoy live music. Classical music, as well as modern music performances, are organized as part of the parade on Thanksgiving Day. Ultimately, the parade program creates a feeling of enthusiasm in the heart of viewers and performers.
- Thanksgiving dinner
This is the best part of Thanksgiving Day. A huge and amazing on-campus dinner party is organized for the professors and students. Professors and students attend the thanksgiving meal together – so this provides a great opportunity to know the professors better and to make a stronger bond with them. The most amazing part of this thanksgiving dinner is that international students who didn’t get more chances to enjoy a different variety of food in the country in which they are studying can now enjoy a wide range of tasty food. Different dishes are prepared in huge amounts for this Thanksgiving Day. Good food in great quantity with people sitting around tables is characteristic of this amazing festival.
The meal also includes traditional foods of the country and also various kinds of desserts. The hospitality is also very good. Thanksgiving dinner gives international students a taste of the culture of the country. Stuffing/Shutterstock, Mashed Potatoes, pumpkin pie, Roast Turkey, and homemade cranberry sauce are the top dishes of the Thanksgiving dinner. These dishes represent the cultural heritage of the country. Also, there are a wide variety of beverages available on the table for thanksgiving dinner. Wines, soft drinks, milk, lemonade, pitchers of sweet tea, coffee, and many more are served on the table.
- Music and Dance Concerts
Concerts are also held to commemorate Thanksgiving Day, where gorgeous music is performed and numerous fantastic bands take part. Singers also perform to add to the festive atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day. Students can also perform on stage to showcase their abilities. They might also celebrate the day by performing with their bands. The music, in general, connects the audience to the significance of Thanksgiving Day and its appreciation. The concert is made even more stunning by the audience’s active participation. They have a lot of fun with it.
- Talent Shows
Various talent shows are organized on campuses on the day of thanksgiving. These shows give opportunities for college students to showcase their abilities and gain appreciation. It’s virtually a practice for college students to participate extensively in these shows. Several programs like singing, dancing, poetry, etc. are organized in these talent shows. So, if you are a student who likes to be on the stage and has a creative side, performing for your fellow campus mates on Thanksgiving day would be a good idea.
- Thanksgiving day speech
Another thing characteristic of this festival is thanksgiving speeches. As the festival is all about gratitude, many campuses organize avenues for speeches. People who want to share their feelings towards anyone in their life offer a speech on the stage. They show their feelings towards the person through words. Also, they conjointly offer presents or bouquets to the person, for whom they’re giving a speech. The speech shows a sort of respect towards the person that shows the lovely culture of the country.
On most campuses, the field is embellished quite fantastically on the national holiday. Completely different colored lights and varied ornamental materials are used for the decoration. Contemporary flowers are used for adornment. The stage is ready nicely wherever varied shows and thanksgiving speeches are organized. This conjointly creates a sense of competition of feeling and represents the culture and heritage of the country.
Games and fun activities during the Thanksgiving Day
There are various games organized on the day of thanksgiving on campuses across countries. Some very interesting and entertaining games that are more or less characteristic of this amazing festival are mentioned below.
- Thanksgiving crosswords
This is a really fun game that’s organized for scholars. This game provides a chance for college students to explore and gain information regarding the country’s culture and history. Several attention-grabbing crosswords will be enclosed within the game. Students ought to complete the crosswords within the paper.
- Thanksgiving Turkey
It is a game that includes writing and coloring. During this activity, a page of feathers and a turkey to color is given to every student. For every feather, college students are given to write about something or one factor whom they may be thankful for. The students usually color the paper and adorn it with a feather.
- Popcorn Race
This is a fascinating and interactive game. During this game, participants are divided into two groups and two bowls are given to every team. One bowl is empty and one is crammed with popcorn. The students form queues and are given a spoon each. In the game, they’re supposed to fill the empty bowl on the opposite side with popcorn from their stuffed bowl. The first team to fill the empty bowl ends up winning the game.
- Thanksgiving Bingo
Bingo has invariably been an excellent game. Over the years, the game has become characteristic of this amazing festival. During this board game, phrases related to thanksgiving are enclosed. The game allows college students to enhance their vocabulary and celebrate with friends at the same time. Moreover, the game presents a wonderful opportunity for students to bond with each other.
- Gratitude Tree
This is the most beautiful and amazing game. This game provides the students with an opportunity to count their blessings. It is considered a very fun activity on campuses across the country. You have to make a gratitude tree in which a name of a person or something you are grateful for should be mentioned. You can make the tree with the help of dummy tree branches, leaves, and strings. People even decorate the tree with stones and pearls accordingly.
- Thanksgiving Charades and Pictionary
These games allow students to demonstrate and play around with their inventive and performing skills. In this game, individuals are divided into two groups. A player from one group goes to the player of every other group and secretly conveys a phrase related to the day. Then the player of the other group has to do something to convey the phrase to the group participants via means of performing without speaking. The group participants try to decipher it. Then it is the chance for the opposite group to present the phrase and so on. The group that makes the maximum number of guesses wins the game.
- Thanksgiving Posters
In this activity, every student has to make and design beautiful posters related to Thanksgiving Day. The posters are designed in beautiful ways with decorative materials.
- Thanksgiving quiz
In this quiz, fun questions associated with Thanksgiving Day are asked. The participant who answers the most number of questions properly wins the game. This quiz helps international students comprehend the culture of the country.
- What is missing?
This game needs high-concentration power. In this game, Thanksgiving-related items such as candy corn, miniature boats, pilgrim, turkey, etc. are placed on a tray. Participants have to look at the tray for thirty seconds and then close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, one object is removed from the tray. Then participants open their eyes and try to guess what is missing from the tray.
- Feather Toss
In this game, a weight is tied to the feather to present its stability. A floor is drawn with several baskets placed a few feet away. Participants get to throw the feather one by one into the individual baskets.
- Thanksgiving twisters
This game is common but it is made interesting by adding words related to Thanksgiving Day. Those who are stuck while speaking gets disqualified and those who speak without stopping at all win the game.
- Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
In this game, Thanksgiving-themed trinkets are hidden around the field. There is a specified time limit. The participants need to find these items. The team or individual who finds the most number of items in the specified time limit wins the hunt.
If you are an international student living or planning to move to a country like the United States for higher education, knowing fine details about the local culture is necessary. With these details, characteristic games, and activities associated with Thanksgiving, you are bound to feel at home on campus during the festival.