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Brooke Lark

MY VERY FIRST UNTRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING IN LOS ANGELES

This month I would like to share with you my Thanksgiving experience in Los Angeles since it’s such an important holiday for American culture and history. Finally all the crazy Halloween decorations are gone and it’s already time for changing them to the Christmas ones. Even though this is not the first time I’m in the United States, I’ve never experienced a traditional Thanksgiving celebration. That’s why I was pretty excited about finally having an opportunity to do so. However, I was aware of the fact that the traditions might be different in every state of America and especially in California.

Till I moved to the US, everything I’ve known about Thanksgiving and its traditions was mostly from American movies or what my friends living in America have told me. First time I’ve actually tasted a traditional dinner was while working as a member of kitchen staff at a summer camp in New Hampshire. We used to serve turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce at least twice during the summer ( I honestly don’t understand why, apparently to make the kids less homesick ) and that’s exactly how I imagined an actual Thanksgiving in November is going to be like as well.

My very first Thanksgiving in California was very warm, sunny and pretty unconventional. One of the partners at my host company invited me for a dinner at his house to spend this beautiful day with his family and friends. I was expecting a very traditional experience, full of unhealthy, heavy food and of course a roasted turkey. A day before the dinner I found out that almost all of his family members are vegetarians, vegans or gluten free. I wasn’t surprised actually because in Los Angeles a healthy lifestyle and other dietary restrictions are pretty common. There’s so many vegetarian or vegan options in every single restaurant or grocery store. I’m a vegetarian myself as well, however, for this holiday I was willing to taste some delicious turkey. Although it didn’t happen ( for dinner we had some vegetarian/vegan soups and gluten free potato pancakes ), I had a wonderful time and finally experienced what is Thanksgiving all about.

Of course nowadays also Black Friday has its important role for Americans. I was curious if this day has also some history but my colleagues told me it’s just a free day that most of the people spend shopping, crazy about the discounts and sales. It’s also important to mention some other Thanksgiving traditions. What I like the most about this holiday is that families and friends spend some time together and usually share with each other what are they thankful for. I am definitely grateful for this opportunity and already can’t wait what is Christmas in LA going to be like.

Matej Strbka

Intern at KFASanta Monica

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