Notes From Abroad by Tabatha Pilon – Thanksgiving in Denmark – October 11, 2011

Notes From Abroad by Tabatha Pilon – Thanksgiving in Denmark – October 11, 2011
CFN – As a Canadian, there are many things that I have taken for granted that aren’t practiced or even known in other parts of the world. A prime example of this would be Thanksgiving. It has always just been a holiday that’s been there. That we have celebrated and had fun with, but I had never actually appreciated it until now.
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In Canada, I had never experienced cooking all the food by myself, and I had definitely not experienced not having access to pick up a pie at a store or even just the pie filling at a store.  Here in Denmark, you don’t have access to these things like you would in Canada.   I think this has shown me a greater appreciation for the holiday. I spent the majority of my weekend in the kitchen. I baked from scratch, I peeled things and I cooked all the food. One of the most amazing things that I did: I found a turkey.
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They are very hard to come by here in Denmark. Or maybe we just weren’t looking in the right places! Even if we hadn’t found the turkey, we were still able to make do with what we had, and that was what we based it on. We were just thankful.  Thankful that we were celebrating together; thankful that we were all in such good health; thankful that we found a turkey. We were thankful for a lot of things. I’m thankful that I have an amazing host-family whom I was able to share this awesome experience with.It was quite different being with people who didn’t know anything about Thanksgiving. Growing up, everyone just learns about it whether they’re in a Public, Catholic or Home school.  So to have to explain why we do this; why we say this; why we eat this; was a strange concept, but I made sure to leave nothing out!
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Due to the fact that we are in a different country, we decided to spice things up (figuratively, not literally) and we had the meal at lunch time instead of supper time. We all gathered around the table, my host dad, Jørgen, my host mom, Anette, my two host sisters, Signe and Luna, another exchange student from Argentina, Mercedes, and our Rotary Counsellor, Ella. we then went around the table, saying one thing that we were each thankful for. The things were all different depending on the person of course, but one of the main things to be thankful for was family.
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My family had experienced many firsts this day. It was the first time they had a Thanksgiving; it was the first time they had to say something they were thankful for; and it was the first time they had ever had Pumpkin Pie.  And now I realized how thankful I really am to have my family. All of my families. If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past two months, it’s that family is everything. I have my family in Canada and my families in Denmark.
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And though my time with my first family is soon coming to an end, I’m glad I was able to have this experience with them. I’m glad of all the things that I was able to experience with them. From taking my first steps in Denmark, to speaking my first words of Danish. I sometimes feel like I’m a little child all over again with all the new things I’ve had to experience, but despite the fact that I miss all of my family back in Canada, I’m so happy that I have these families willing to have me in their home here in Denmark.   And the bonds that we have created will allow me to always have a home here in Denmark, no matter what country I’m living in.
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And I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
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Tabatha Pilon is a 17 year old student from Cornwall Ontario spending a year in Denmark.   She will be writing to us  each week or as her “gymnasium” schedule allows.  If you have questions for her or would like to sponsor her column email us at info@cornwallfreenews.com
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