Northern Kentucky University students proved that traditional Thanksgiving celebrations are going out of style. From eating out at restaurants, feeding the poor to celebrating culturally, this year, students shared new experiences and showed that they understand the meaning of the holiday without having to hold on to traditions.
Sophomore nursing major Hannah Rechtin celebrated Thanksgiving with her mom. They went to National Bridge to feed the less fortunate.
“There were tons of people there and we ended up staying the entire day with them,” Rechtin said.
She wasn’t the only person who dedicated the holiday to a cause. Undeclared sophomore Kaitlin Brandt said her family didn’t really get together for Thanksgiving this year.
“My dad is a doctor at a children’s hospital, so we went there,” Brandt said. “It was really cool because we just played games with the kids and ate a bunch of pie. It was fun.”
Students who are not originally from the United States celebrated the holiday a little differently.
Melisa Roman, who moved to the United States from Peru in December 2001, said she didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in her home country. The junior education major said in Peru, “we actually think Christmas is more important than Thanksgiving.”
Roman isn’t the only student at NKU who hasn’t always celebrated Thanksgiving. Senior political science major Ana Gonzalez said when she lived in Argentina, she didn’t celebrate it “because the story of Thanksgiving is American.” Gonzalez said she spent the holiday in an American home of a woman who is from the Philippines, and her husband is from America.
“She invited many international students,” Gonzalez said.
Adrian Beiting said his family didn’t go over the top with the holiday. The senior English major went out to eat instead of having the traditional home cooked meal.
“Rarely do we do the big Thanksgiving dinner,” he said. “I think it’s just the way we are. We aren’t a very big family, so we don’t feel the need to do something big.”
He ate at Chez Nora in Covington on Thanksgiving, where he said the bill was almost $100 for three people. The restaurant was crowded and it was running out of drinking glasses, according to Beiting. To top it off, Beiting said the restaurant only had two kinds of pie, neither of which he liked.
Freshman Loliana Talbott also had a less than satisfying Thanksgiving. Talbott, whose family lives overseas in her home country of Albania, worked from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the holiday. She ordered Thanksgiving dinner from Kroger – which didn’t give her the green beans she ordered she said.
“I just spent the day (with a friend) because we don’t have any other family,” she said. “It was like the worst Thanksgiving ever.”
Cuban native Adialys Garcia said Thanksgiving is looked at differently by Christian Hispanics and non-Christian Hispanics.
She said that, in general, the non-Christian Hispanics prepare a party at their homes and the Christians go to church to celebrate Thanksgiving. At the homes, relatives and friends come together to play Latin music, dance and play games. She said that at 9 p.m. they all come together and eat the meal. After that, the party continues until 4 or 5 a.m.
“Of course we eat turkey, which is an American tradition, but we add Latin foods like Congris, tostones and tortillas,” Garcia said.
Editor’s Note: This story is a compilation by Amy Ehrnreiter, Rich Shivener, Melissa Chinn and Kelli Schultz.