EWU shares Thanksgiving traditions

Eagles from across the glob talk turkey

By Rosie Perry, Staff Writer

This Thanksgiving members of the EWU community have quite a variety of plans for their break, from a traditional Thanksgiving to foreign students and faculty experiencing an all-new holiday.

Director of the Asia University America Program (AUAP) Kristina Guilfoyle and Student Services Coordinator Michael Reid shared what a typical Thanksgiving might look like for a student from the AUAP.

Guilfoyle explained the program offers an American life course which meets once a week. During the course students have the opportunity to learn about American traditions such as Thanksgiving.

Guilfoyle said most of their students use the break to travel and experience more of the United States. Since the university is closed and students leave for the holiday, the AUAP is putting on a culture night which will be held on Nov. 23 from 5- 7 p.m. in the Streeter Global LLC, although that venue may change. “We hope to have music and traditional game and craft demonstrations,” Reid said

Both Guilfoyle and Reid said they plan to spend the holiday with family and friends.

EWU senior Kelsey Rakentine, who is from Spokane, typically has a traditional Thanksgiving. Her family prepares a traditional meal and every able member of the family joins them. “We also always take our Christmas card photos at Thanksgiving,” Rakentine said.

This year EWU Bookstore employee Shona Short is celebrating her ninth Thanksgiving living in the U.S. She is originally from Scotland and until she moved to the U.S. she knew very little about the holiday and what it represents.

Her first experience with the holiday was in 1998 when she was invited to spend it with her  husband’s family. Short said she was not sure what they would be celebrating but knew it was a big deal to be invited by her significant other.

Short did not know what to expect when she attended her first Thanksgiving celebration but now she said she enjoys the holiday. “I just love it, I love that it is as big as Christmas but without the commercial aspect,” Short said.

Hussein Almalki, a professor from Umm al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia on sabbatical to work on his master’s degree at EWU, is also relatively new to celebrating Thanksgiving, but said he has come to enjoy it.

Coming from Saudi Arabia, Almalki said one of the most interesting things about the holiday was eating turkey since he had previously never tried it.

Last year was Almalki’s first time celebrating the holiday, but he said it was limited. This year his host family has invited him to spend it with their family so he can get the full experience.

Although his experience with the holiday is minimal he said he has enjoyed every bit of it. “I like Thanksgiving more than Easter holiday and more than Christmas because I know people enjoy meeting together like family,” Almalki said.