WEEKEND | A Turkish Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I stayed in New Haven and had dinner with a Turkish friend whose family lives in the area. I was apprehensive on my way to their house: Would Thanksgiving be the same if I didn’t spend it with an American family? Was “Turkish Thanksgiving” an oxymoron? Did I, an international student, even know what “oxymoron” meant?

My friend Webster allayed my fears on the latter (Webster: I am thankful for you every day of my life). To find the answers to my other questions, however, I had no choice but to take a walk up to Saint Ronan Street, where my Thanksgiving feast awaited. (Google Maps: I am also thankful for you.)

Walking through deserted New Haven streets, I was overcome by gloomy thoughts: What if they didn’t even serve turkey? Had Turkish people figured out how to make stuffing? Would a Turkish family know the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? I certainly didn’t. Somewhere around the Divinity School I told myself to get over it: Thou shalt have food, I said to myself, and – stuffing or no stuffing – thou shalt be thankful.

And, as it turns out, I was the only Turkish person still behind the times: My Turkish Thanksgiving dinner was not only perfect, but also perfectly American: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn on the cob, wild rice and pumpkin pie and apple pie for dessert. All of this served, of course, with Turkish conversation on the side.

Speaking of Turkey and turkey: If you’re wondering why they named the animal after the country, this is the point where we should all take a minute to remember how thankful we are for Google.

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