Archives: cultural history

coptic-thanksgiving-reflection

Celebrating America and remembering the motherland: making meaning of Thanksgiving

We’re celebrating contemplation and gratitude all week long. Read more Thanksgiving reflections, by students, faculty and alumni, at The Gero-Punk Project.

by Philipos Ghaly

I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, and became a participant of the American story in my early adulthood. All my memories of family gatherings, annual holidays, and festal cuisines are native to Coptic (native Egyptian Christian) culture. This meant that I could make little personal meaning for a holiday like thanksgiving, for unlike my American friends, I had no family stories to tell of past thanksgiving days, nor did I have memories of the smell of my aunt’s turkey or the taste of my grandmother’s pumpkin pie. Over the years however, I acquired memories that helped incorporate me into the American collective experience of the holiday, beyond the opportunity of dietary indulgence and exaggerated alcohol consumption.

view