Thanksgiving: 김치 or Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving, arguably the United States’ most American holiday, is celebrated by over eating poultry, watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (and possibly the Cleveland Browns), and ends the morning after in the shopping free for all known as Black Friday. This is one of many harvest festivals around the world, and definitely is in my top three favorite fall celebrations. For those who are curious, the list goes Chuseok (추석), Thanksgiving, and Sukkot (סוכות).

There can only be one. It’s sad that I won’t be eating spicy, fermented cabbage this Thanksgiving, but that’s life. I’ll have to settle for tasty pie.Poor me! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Both Chuseok and Sukkot are long gone, and honestly I don’t really celebrate them. You will not find me in a tabernacle, but I will partake in some sweet, Korean rice cakes. In short, I am a lazy Jew but a gluttonous Korean. This is actually a great segue into the current fall ritual related spite I possess for my Father; I am being slightly melodramatic.

The story is my Dad is going to South Korea during Thanksgiving along with my 할아바지 (grandfather). However, I am not invited since I’d be missing a few days of school. I am more than bummed. I haven’t been back to Korea in a few years and I need my fix of the Orient. How fun would it be to go shopping in the Dongdaemun night market, eat some ddukboekki on the street, and just hang out at my family’s restaurant for Thanksgiving?

*I will be referring to South Korea simply as Korea from now on. Yes, it is more politically correct to say South Korea to distinguish it from its communist neighbor, North Korea, but who casually goes to North Korea? Tell me.

Though I love American Thanksgiving and all its trimmings, I want to spend it in Korea! Eating kalbi instead of turkey, kimchi instead of stuffing, and possibly some sushi as well would be so preferable to me. However, I assume that I couldn’t get latkas in the Korea; Thanksgiving and Hanukkah do line up this year. Hooray!

Now of course, I think I am getting a little too fussy. Today, this holiday is used to remind us of what we have and to be grateful for it; I especially shouldn’t be complaining about traveling.

Anyone who travels should be more thankful for this ability, and for now, I should just be happy to have Thanksgiving with food and family. Also, perhaps Hannukah would be less enjoyable in the land of morning calm. However, since Korea was in my grasp, I can’t help but feel a little distraught.

I guess that I’ll just have to give my family members a list of To-Dos for me while they are abroad.

Hopefully, I will be able to return to Korea really soon. I miss it. If I could marry a building, it would be the Incheon International Airport. More to come about different holidays from around the world and the semester school that I have been vaguely speaking about for months (ambiguously like this). However for now, have a happy Thanksgiving and if you are traveling, travel safe!

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