Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
Thanksgiving in our household had its own spicy twist.
As Indians, who had emigrated to the United States, the whole concept of turkeys, pilgrims, football, apple pie, and Native Americans with feathers in their hair seemed quite foreign to my parents.
But over time, the day began to hold a lot of meaning and significance. It represented a time to recognize all that they could be grateful for – health, family, success, and happiness. My parents and many of our relatives welcomed family members who would come to Boston from around the country for the gathering. A huge feast was planned for the day, including masala turkey, spicy Indian vegetable filling, and traditional Indian potatoes on the side. Desert was a combination of apple pies, brownies, and traditional Indian desert. Bollywood music played in the background, while my brother and other cousins dragged our elders to the television and tried to explain the game of football to them. After genuinely trying to understand the game for a few minutes, the adults would quickly lose interest and drift outside to play cricket.
I have struggeld with whether or not to get a Christmas tree. We are not Christian, so why would we celebrate the holiday? (When we were young, my parents would buy us one gift each, and hang up a stocking by the fireplace. Christmas was not about gifts, but it became a day we learned about giving.) At the same time, I do not want my young children to feel excluded from the dominant society. I want them to know the Indian festivals like Diwali (the festival of light that marks the New Year) and Hole (the festival of color). But I also want them to understand the traditions and holidays of their friends – from Ramadan to Id to Hanukah and the Chinese Moon Festival.
(This is an excerpt from my book, 100 Promises to My Baby.)
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