Thanksgiving in Argentina
One of the best Thanksgivings I’ve had was actually spent outside the United States, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, three years ago.
Thanksgiving, of course, is a holiday usually only celebrated in the U.S. and Canada, but my wife, two other “yanqui” friends and I put together a pretty nice Thanksgiving feast for all of our Argentine friends. It wasn’t easy to get all the necessary ingredients, especially the most important one, the turkey. But one of our friends from the U.S. knew a butcher who said he could get them delivered from the countryside, and Thanksgiving day another friend from the U.S. stuffed two small turkeys (by U.S. Thanksgiving turkey standards) into a backpack, got on the subway and brought them to our apartment.
We had tried to do the traditional Thanksgiving feast at the traditional time, which is around 3 pm, but our Argentine friends nearly revolted, and we ate closer to 10 pm. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes… all of our traditional Thanksgiving foods, as well as fernet and coke, and mate. Despite a small kitchen and a smaller stove, we managed to roast two great turkeys, and more than enough food for everyone that came… I think there were 18 in all. I’ve never been so proud of my turkey roasting skills.
After eating a dinner which I think all of our Argentine friends enjoyed, we talked, played games and music, and had a good time. It was great. Our friends there had shared so much of their culture with us, so it was cool to share a uniquely U.S. and Canadian tradition with them.
In some versions of the original story, Thanksgiving was originally a cross-cultural celebration, when European settlers and Native Americans, came together to give thanks for a good harvest season. Of course, the relationship between the Europeans and Native Americans didn’t turn out so well… and this version of Thanksgiving might not even be accurate, but whatever, those guys were jerks. Argentine Thanksgiving was great.