Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz


Posted by chinesecanuck on October 14, 2008

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada.  It’s interesting how the holiday is so easily adaptable for different cultures!  My family usually does the turkey thing, complete with what my mom calls “Chinese stuffing,” which is sticky rice and Chinese mushrooms.  It’s really good!  For side dishes, we usually serve bok choy, choy sum or gai lan – all Chinese greens, salad and whatever other people bring.  For dessert, we usually serve carrot cake (store bought…when I was little, I would make dessert.  I haven’t made dessert myself since I was around 13 or so, since my baking skills haven’t really improved – LOL)

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  If so, how?  Do you adapt it to fit your own culture?


6 Responses to “Thanksgiving!”

  1. When I was in high school (and for a few years after), my friends and I would start out at one person’s house and caravan to another friend’s house and then to another. It was a great way to try so many variations of the same meal with different ethnic twists.

    Was it also Columbus Day there?

  2. John,

    No, we don’t have Columbus Day here.

  3. Ha! I’m used to Asian Thanksgivings too. Instead of having stuffing, we’ve always had stir-fried veggies, and for dessert, the classic Asian stand-by: fruit.

    It’s interesting that more than one person in the blogosphere shares this sentiment.

  4. I’ve recently read an article on food and nationalism in Japan, describing how particular foods tied to an ideal national identity (e.g. Japanese eat edamame). This process – done through media but supported by our everyday life practices – is quite problematic, given that in many instances food is shared regionally, across ethnic/ national lines. There was no thanksgiving in my childhood, but before the nation-state there were lots of celebrations for the crops (fall celebrations), where people would share some of the goods from that year’s crop. Maybe there’s a connection 🙂

  5. My family celebrates Thanksgiving, but it’s the traditional kind, if instant Stove Top Stuffing Mix is considered “traditional”. For side dishes, we get stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and salad (raw, not cooked).

    Your “Chinese stuffing” consisting of sticky rice and Chinese mushrooms sounds like an awesome idea, though.

    When did your parents come to Canada?

  6. ^^^

    My parents came in the early 1970s.

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