Foreign Exchange for Thanksgiving

Despite not being from America, foreign exchange students know a surprising amount about Thanksgiving and how it came to be.
So how did Thanksgiving start? After asking this question to two foreign exchange students, they both answered pretty similarly. Leon Ubelhoer, an exchange student from Germany, says that Thanksgiving is, “a meal celebrating the start of the colonies.”
Candela Mijares, a student from Spain, says Thanksgiving is when, “American families have a dinner all together to represent when the Native people and the American people made their peace.”
Today on Thanksgiving, we mainly focus on the three “F’s”, food, family, and football. We gather as a family, have a generally large meal, and watch some football.
BHS student Jeremy Safranek says that he doesn’t think that means we’ve forgotten the meaning behind Thanksgiving.
“We usually spend Thanksgiving with our friends and family, and I feel that is a big part of the holiday,” Safranek said.
Safranek also knew the origin of Thanksgiving.
“The Colonies celebrated the success of the first harvest. They celebrated it with a big meal, and they invited the Native Americans,” he explained.
Student Kaley Wenzel adds that, “It was also about the pilgrims celebrating their new beginning in America.”
Wenzel says that most years she spends Thanksgiving with her family, eating, and giving thanks.
“However, some years I spend it at my Dad’s restaurant–John’s Bozeman Bistro–where we serve a feast to those who have nowhere to go,” she said.
Ubelhoer says he is looking forward to Thanksgiving because in Germany they just have big meals on Christmas and Easter.
Mijares added that the only big holidays in Spain are Christmas, Easter, and their national holiday.
At BHS, students–foreign or not–are excited for Thanksgiving and are looking forward to partaking in the traditions of their families or host families.


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