Thanksgiving Day is a Protestant celebration of Thanksgiving to God for the harvest and harvest of the year and is the biggest holiday in the United States. Along with Easter and Christmas, it is one of the three major Protestant holidays observed in Protestant circles worldwide. The most well-known Thanksgiving in the United States is the fourth Thursday in November, and government offices and schools are closed from Thursday to the weekend.
On this day, families gather and eat together with Turkey foods such as corn, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, yeast bread, ham, and apple pie that the early settlers ate.
In my case, I moved to the US in August, and just a few months later, I had my first Thanksgiving. As an early immigrant family, I had no relatives and no friends to invite, so I had no idea how to cook a gigantic-looking turkey. Frozen turkey takes at least two days to thaw, and just spreading butterballs on one turkey takes quite a bit of time. In short, it was a dish that requires a lot of patience. Foreigners unfamiliar with turkey dishes may substitute duck or chicken instead. We also had fried chicken at first. But recently, I was able to eat a decent turkey dish. I feel as if I am becoming more and more assimilated into life here.
Chuseok, Korea is in September. And the food they eat is different. There are so many different cultures and points to enjoy. As if you were surprised by the size of Turkey when you first saw it, everything feels unfamiliar and challenging. But over time, I got to know and understand the American way of life. On this day, all scattered family members gather at their hometown, eat turkey, laugh and chatter, and spend time with their families.
There is a picture that depicts this atmosphere well. American artist Norman Rockwell captured the atmosphere of this typical Thanksgiving table in 1942 on canvas.
The large turkey delivered by the grandmother in the picture was hard-boiled in the oven for two days while continuously applying the sauce. In fact, as in the picture, it isn't easy to lift lightly with both hands. But the grandmother in the picture is very elegantly holding a turkey. The children and grandchildren are sitting at the table laughing and chatting.
A holiday is literally a feast. Even though the table was painted, the pleasant atmosphere seems to be transmitted through the canvas.
However, there is an artist who has captured this pleasant atmosphere from a different angle. African-American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner showed us through his painting " The thankful poor, 1894", an African American Thanksgiving table. I feel the loneliness as a migrant. It's the same feeling we felt when we first came to America. But the warm neighbors around me helped my family not to be lonely. I hope that the father and son in this picture have also met such a neighbor.
I want to draw a picture of a holiday that exists in various forms around the world. I also have a desire to draw Korean Chuseok. I want to try another job. Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Myungja Anna Koh