By Yasunori Masunaga, Intern at Asian Learning Center of Indiana
Last week, I had Thanksgiving dinner with Jackie Nytes’ family and her acquaintances. Last year, should have been my first Thanksgiving, but timing didn’t work out and I had to go to Japan during the week of the holiday. So this was my first time to spend the holiday in the states. I met many people from different countries including Lebanese delegates. It was really interesting to open a world map before dinner with the dinner guests from all over the world and point to each others’ home countries because so many different places were represented. It was always hard for me to explain where my home city of Japan is because people usually only know of Tokyo, but this time the map helped me a lot. (By the way, my home city is Kanazawa, meaning Gold Swamp, but unfortunately there is no gold swamp there.)
A funny moment from Thanksgiving that really stands out to me was when we were watching a NFL game and one of the Lebanese delegates asked me, “is this baseball?” They said football in their culture does not mean American football, but soccer. According to them, Soccer is the most popular sport in Lebanon. I hope baseball becomes a world sport, like soccer, because it is so popular in the US and Japan.
After that it was time for dinner. When dinner was ready we sat down around a big table. I ate more Turkey at dinner than I ever have in my whole entire life (further, I was given the remaining Turkey in a large box to take home and I ate it the next day.)
After the dinner, we walked around Jackie’s house where she explained about the communities that she is engaging in to improve the lives of people there. For example, there were used books in a small box beside a school bus stop, where students could freely borrow the books and return them another day. It really impressed me that people donate books to the community so that everyone can have a chance to read. I really enjoyed the time and had a great experience learning about this traditional American holiday. I am really thankful for all of my experiences here at The International Center.