The weird thing about the world nowadays is that I can just as easily look up the weather around ancient Mayan temples in Copan as I can the weather elsewhere in the Philippines. Neither of these will be as easy as looking out the window, of course, but given the current situation I think we’re all relying a bit more on the internet than we used to.
This raises an interesting point, though: How much closer we all are thanks to those massive underwater cables that traverse the globe, and how much easier it is to grow up as a child with multiple heritages and with more open perspectives now that the world has grown smaller.
There are debates on whether this is a good thing or not, but at the end of the day, how much do these distinctions really matter?
Celebrating cultures—from Korea to China
Just this year my family celebrated a birthday by grilling dakgalbi, and having bulgogi with assorted kimchi. Not long after, we were back to our roots with sinigang and various Spanish-influenced stews when the weather started cooling off. For context, none of us are Korean, despite what the sheer volume of K-drama eating up our bandwidth might imply.
We have mooncakes for Chinese New Year and watch shows produced in Hollywood and Bollywood alike on a TV made in Singapore, while wearing clothes crafted in Montalban (support local brands!). But at the end of the day, we’re still very much Filipino. Many of the holidays that fill our calendar aren’t rooted in our history, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t become a part of ours. The plethora of options we have is a sign of the times and frankly, that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
Thanksgiving is more than just a meal
There’s been a conversation going around about Thanksgiving here in the Philippines. The pop culture image is that of a quintessentially American evening centered around friends and family and way too much food, but it’s honestly not that exclusive an affair. Believe it or not, it was a nationally-recognized holiday just a few decades ago! Gratitude and good fortune aren’t specific to any one group of people, and despite how things have been lately, it might do us all a world of good to step back and consider all the great things that have happened so far.
A time to give thanks
There are many ways to express thanks, and you don’t have to go with the flow or follow a prescribed routine to get into the spirit of the season. Go on, go wild and express yourself! Bring the people you love into it and make it a time to remember. Bust out that weird costume you made in lockdown cuz you were bored! Try that weird new ingredient you ordered just cuz it was on sale though you aren’t really sure how it tastes! Blast karaoke songs an octave or two above your comfort zone because you can!
Have a Thanksgiving blast, but be careful to observe social distancing guidelines; you, and the people around you, will be thankful you did.
Want Thanksgiving table inspirations? Check out Toss that turkey: Affordable Thanksgiving meals you can grab on the fly or The best drinks to cap off a Thanksgiving celebration for a neat night cap.