Of Holidays, Gravy, and Refugee Camps
One recent Monday morning, their instructor shared the history behind Thanksgiving, but even after defining many vocabulary words, the questions piled up. Among the most difficult were those about Native Americans: Why were they called “Indians”? Where did they come from? Where are they now?
The instructor drew a crude map of the world on the whiteboard and showed how Europeans came to the Americas on boats, finding highly developed cultures and governing systems. The pilgrims, for example, first landed at Plymouth Rock. But then she had to talk about the Indian Removal Act, and to these Africans, it sounded a lot like being in a refugee camp. The locals were forced off their land and herded into unfamiliar areas with people they didn’t know?!? Every refugee knew what that was like.
Eventually, the class moved on. They talked about Thanksgiving foods, many of which were familiar, including turkey, vegetables, and bread. But mashed potatoes were something new, as was stuffing and gravy. Have you ever tried to describe gravy to someone who hasn’t seen it?
Finally, the instructor talked about the purpose behind Thanksgiving. Many of us pause during the day to thank God for everything--the good and the bad--in the previous year. The students stood around their classroom table, holding hands, while the American instructor and helper shared some of their blessings from the year.
To finish this English module, students shared a few things they were thankful for. Watch the video below to hear some of the things these newly-arrived internationals were thankful for.
READY TO GET INVOLVED?
Wouldn't it be fun to introduce a new-to-Knoxville family to all our fabulous Thanksgiving food? Our Embrace program creates opportunities for that and much more as you and your small group come around an international family to help them thrive in metro Knoxville. Learn more on our Embrace page, and let us know if you're ready to schedule an info session.
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Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.