Posts from the Fall: Chinese Thanksgiving

Originally written: 11/25/12


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This was my first time spending Thanksgiving away from home, so I tried to make the day special in a way that can only happen in China. At first, I nearly forgot that it was Thanksgiving at all. I went to class in the morning like any other Thursday and remembered just before lunch that it was Thanksgiving. I quickly called a few friends and put together the perfect holiday plans.  Four hours later, the festivities began.  It started with a few classmates and I going to a small on-campus park and playing a makeshift game of football.

For Thanksgiving dinner, a group of us went out to eat at a nearby restaurant. I’m afraid that turkey is very hard to come by in China, so our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of sweet and sour fish, kung pao chicken, snow peas, hot spiced string beans, sweet buns, and eggplant in soy sauce. For dessert, we ordered a dish of potatoes covered in a caramelized sugar sauce (potatoes that are sweet, get it? Sweet potatoes! Great traditional Thanksgiving food!).

On Black Friday, I went out to the Hutongs with my tutor and classmate. A Hutong is like an alleyway, except instead of being formed by tall buildings, they are formed by one story homes that are crammed together. Many people live there, but you can also find some small shops.  They are now considered to be the historical parts of Beijing and are surrounded by stores, restaurants, bars, and other attractions. We went there and walked around, tried some of the local food, and toured they area by rickshaw.  We spent a full 7 hours there! I’m so thankful for the chance to have such awesome experiences like this!

I guess I should mention this as well: while trying out the local foods, my tutor suggested I try a very famous dish: cow stomach. While everyone else back at home enjoyed turkey and potatoes for Thanksgiving, I got to chew on a strip of cow intestinal lining. Yum? Haha just kidding. It was gross. But hey, at least I tried it!

I’d like to shout out to my friends and family back in the US. I hope everyone enjoyed watching (and playing) football, eating pumpkin pie, and watching the parade!