On Thursday, Jude Albukhari, S’15, will attend her first Thanksgiving celebration since enrolling at Northeastern University. The Jordan native will travel to a friend’s house in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to celebrate the feast of food, family, and football.
“It’s exciting. It’s going to be my first American Thanksgiving celebration,” said Albukhari, a psychology major. “My grandmother is American and a couple years ago we kind of celebrated Thanksgiving, but it was mostly about eating turkey.”
Albukhari got a preview of all the fixings that go into a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday afternoon at the International Student and Scholar Institute’s annual Thanksgiving dinner in the Curry Student Center ballroom. About 130 attendees, mostly international students, learned about Thanksgiving’s history and traditions as they feasted on turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.
“This is the first time I’ve ever attended, and I’m glad I did because I didn’t know that much about Thanksgiving history, especially the Pilgrims’ journey to Plymouth,” Albukhari said.
Visiting scholars Sandra Ospina and Johanna Sepulveda, both from Colombia, will celebrate their first Thanksgiving in Connecticut with Sepulveda’s uncle. They said they would meld Thanksgiving traditions with Colombian customs, especially dancing.
“We are going to celebrate together,” Ospina said at Tuesday’s dinner. “I didn’t know anything about Thanksgiving history and it was nice to hear about the first celebration today.”
Distinguished Professor of History William Fowler gave a brief presentation on the history and traditions of Thanksgiving Day, from the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, to President Abraham Lincoln proclaiming a national Thanksgiving Day in 1863, to the tradition of watching football.
Smit Shah, M’17, who is pursuing a master’s in information systems, said it was interesting to hear about the U.S. president pardoning a turkey each year. When asked about his plans for Thursday, Shah and his friends said they would be hanging out together. Karan Methn, MIS’16, added that they might make a trip to the Wrentham outlets to shop.
Some students at Tuesday’s dinner have holiday plans that don’t involve Thanksgiving nor shopping. Regulation Affairs graduate student, Xiao Yin, CPS’15, said he’s going to be studying for finals. “I have an exam soon for a law class that is pretty hard,” Yin said.