On Thursday, Nov. 17, students and staff gathered in room C130 to attend Asian Pacific Islander Student Association’s annual Thanksgiving social. The event went from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. keeping attendees fed with pecan, apple and pumpkin pie. Before walking in to the event, students could enter a raffle to win a free ticket to the annual harvest party, hosted by the International Student’s Association.
The social featured an informative video describing the background of Thanksgiving and features of the tradition in the U.S.
The event’s purpose was to share the values of Thanksgiving. “We have a lot of international students who have never experienced Thanksgiving before. We want to give them the gist of what Thanksgiving represents and to give them a sense of family,” said Asian Pacific Islander Student Association Coordinator Vanno Kong.
One student in attendance was Running Start student Abigail Garcia. She said she enjoyed the pie, but also learned some new things about the holiday. “Allowing myself to be exposed to new cultures makes me feel like I am a part of a great community. It makes me feel like I can be accepted, and I can accept others as well.”
The video educated the attendees of the history of Thanksgiving. The video was courtesy of the History Channel. Fact sheets were provided, featuring leaves of different shades of orange and yellow, falling from a tree branch. Facts about Thanksgiving were offered at the event. For example, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1823, which popularized the turkey as a holiday dish and made it become a traditional part of Thanksgiving.
Student Event Coordinator Michael Cha stated that the goal of the event was “raising awareness of an American tradition to the international students, but also to promote APISA’s name as a program.” As for his personal Thanksgiving traditions, Cha said “I am Korean-American but I do not celebrate in a Korean way. We have turkey, a ham, mashed potatoes, we have everything going on.”
APISA meets every Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in C103 during fall quarter. Any students interested in attending should contact APISA advisor Pavy Thao.