I started the morning helping Trine prepare pumpkin pies at our place before heading to Gevninge in the early afternoon to help Ava prepare food. Actually, most of the work was already done, but we hung out and played cards while we waited for the turkey to cook. Kaitlyn and Jessica didn’t arrive until late as they traveled to Sweden that morning. They made up for being late though by entertaining us with a little gangster dancing (that’s what they called it anyway). By the time everyone finally arrived and we sat down to dinner our appetites were alive!
The food was spectacular: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes covered in a syrup, butter, nut sauce, salad, fried onions, and breads. The drinks were equally luscious: an assortment of champagnes, bodied reds, and a chardonnay. Forks dug and knives scraped, and the sounds of conversation were drowned in the void of silence. Not an awkward silence, but a Thanksgiving silence. The Thanksgiving silence.
Hours later, stomachs expanded beyond normal capacity, we continue feeding, now on the excitement of stories. We exchange tales, finding comfort in our mutual humanity. France, Denmark, the States…all just homes in a global community. Stories span time and space, universal connectors amid a fractured world. This tradition is not Danish, nor is it American. This is tradition of love and connection is a tradition of humanity, bound in the very social fabric of our beings.
And then, of course, there is dessert. Pumpkin pie and rice pudding…Mmmmm delicious! It is Danish tradition: whoever finds the whole almond in the pudding gets a prize. We eat until it is found, or until there is nothing left to eat. The true-hearted never relent, and the wicked hide their treasure. It is a battle of will, digestion, and over-indulgence. May the best man or woman win!
Thursday is normally a slow starting day…we sleep in a while, then throw the turkey in and alternate between cooking, cleaning, and lounging the morning away. By the time dinner is ready we have not really done much but prepare to eat! Sadly Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, so we still had class 😦 But the DIS Thanksgiving dinner was worth the lost day off.
Apparently Kaitlin invited all of DIS, but with Friday off and no family around it seems most students decided to travel. Better for us, because the dinner was a cozy affair with less than 15
people. We alone accounted for almost half, with myself, Kaitlyn, Lauren, Jessica (Kaitlyn’s friend studying in France), Ca, Leonard, and Simon dominating one corner. Joining us were several girls from DIS, Madi, and Kaitlin and her boyfriend. Kaitlin and Madi prepared an enormous amount of food and, together with what the guests brought, we couldn’t finish it all. I ended up with leftovers to bring home to the fam 🙂
The official turkey day was a blast. We ate and drank and laughed for hours. I taught everyone the importance of the ‘nap & lounge’ Thanksgiving technique, and Simon was quick to learn. He kept up his appetite all through dinner and even past dessert!
We went around the room and said our customary thanks, and everyone mentioned family, friends, and the opportunity to be in Copenhagen or host DIS students. I lamented the absence of my family, but I praised the belonging I’ve found with my new family and friends here in Denmark. They have truly made me feel at home!