KFC and a bottle of Prosecco.
In this post:
Cultural identity and the ways in which we celebrate or not. Life goes fast and life goes slow, confusingly, both at the same time.
The world is whizzing by. More than nine months of slow and tentative days trying to settle here in country number seven had pass by, hard enough but sluggish in their seeming nothingness, and then many things happened at the same time.
On Thursday 25 of November around 4:00 pm, I realized that it was Thanksgiving. Huh! So later that day, my awesome husband and I ordered KFC, opened a bottle of Prosecco, and sat together on the couch watching reruns of Sex and the City. Maj curled up in his blanket right in the middle of the couch, dreaming his cat dreams, twitching softly from times to times, making the whole scene feel homey and complete and post-card perfect.
It’s been, I think, more than six years since I have celebrated Thanksgiving in the way that I am supposed to do it. Mostly because I’ve been living abroad for a long time in countries in which there is not such a thing as American Thanksgiving, in which it is next to impossible to get a turkey small enough for two people and sometimes even impossible to get a turkey at all before December, and my husband is French so he doesn’t feel the need to celebrate at this particular time. I’ve been living in the UK for more than 9 months; they have their own holidays, I also discovered that they start preparing for Christmas in the middle of September, which I thought was something that only Puerto Ricans did; I stand corrected. I can say that Thanksgiving is nothing hereabouts but that other quintessential American holiday thanking the gods of capitalism, that’s right, Black Friday, it’s a big thing in here as well.
For reasons of nostalgia, I had hoped to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, thinking, mistakenly that living close to London I will be able to find a small turkey before the holidays. I didn’t make a great effort, so I am not sure if I could have if I had combed around every possible place, but it was not as easy as I thought it would be neither so finally, we sort of celebrated as I described above.
For a while now, I have been thinking about the role of culture and cultural identity in the way people interact with each other, in the way we build our personal public identities and claim our space in the world. As a matter of fact, that was one of the most salient topics of my first book, Lizard-Monkeys and Other Stories, but I still can’t articulate particularly well all the contrary observations which my life abroad has provided for me. I still have to think, and I still have to write more about this and develop a rational hypothesis to Pop-philosophize about.
Anyway, do you live in a place and culture that celebrates Thanksgiving? And how do you celebrate? Do you think everybody celebrates the same? Do you think that it is possible that people celebrate the same holiday differently? How do you think you will react if you lived in a place that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas? I have lived in such places but that is a whole different story better left for another day.