Firstly, if anyone is actually following this blog avidly, I apologize for my prolonged sabbatical from writing. I wanted to relish the last moments at Krogerup, and so I am now drafting posts about my last three weeks in Denmark from my bed, at home in Tennessee.
Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for a long time. Despite it’s basis on a idealized founding myth (and I by no means want to forget the fact that Europeans unjustly massacred Native Americans,) today’s celebration is focused mainly on appreciation of family and opportunity The holiday seems to have avoided some (but not all) of the vapid consumerism that is often associated with other holidays in the United States.
Thanksgiving was the first day that I truly felt homesick in my entire stay. I have never in my life spent it apart from my mother, who I am very close to, and when I skyped her that evening, I almost cried because the connection kept breaking up. However, sharing the tradition with friends from around the world was unforgettable. Nicolaij, the head chef at Krogerup has done Thanksgiving a couple times now, and I must say I was truly impressed with how accurate his interpretation of Thanksgiving dinner was.
Sitting around the table, surrounded by close friends, we all stated what we were thankful for, as the tradition dictates. While it was nothing like being at home, surrounded by biological family, it felt as right as could be.
My personal favorite moment of the evening was when Sveinn, our Icelandic friend asked: “do people every deep fry Turkeys in the U.S.?”
“No, only hillbillies strung out on meth do that” Nathan replied. As per usual, everyone turned to me at the mention of the word “hillbilly” and I was forced to admit, that yes, in fact, my family has deep fried a Thanksgiving turkey in years past.
After dinner came the best part, Colbie & Jamie, two other American DIS students had made a bunch of pumpkin and apple pies, and snickerdoodles. Overall, most of the Danes didn’t get the hype about pumpkin pie, but to me it tasted like being home, and I was happy to eat what others didn’t want. The Snickerdoodles were a hit, even though most people refused to believe they could be named something so silly.
Sharing Thanksgiving was particularly rewarding because it felt so natural, as if it could be easily incorporated into Danish culture without any huge paradoxes or contradictions. It seemed to bring something new to the table (pun intended) that would leave no bitterness.