How Harrisites plan to spend their Thanksgiving

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Once more, the time of year during which we get to watch shops switch themes, change from sweaters to coats, and make plans with friends and family is rapidly approaching. So–how will students at Townsend Harris High School be spending their Thanksgiving this year?  

Although customs vary from person to person, there is a common thread between Harrisites’ Thanksgiving celebrations: they spend the holiday with their loved ones. Some stick to familiar practices, whereas others alter theirs to compensate for the drastic change that the pandemic has brought over the past two years. Reaching out to various students, The Classic discovered numerous creative traditions in our community. 

Freshman Aradhna Da Silva said, “A tradition that’s weird that our family does but other families don’t do is that we never have turkey–ever, but we always have lamb chops or pork.”

Senior Emily Surujlall said,“Every year, we go to Florida, that’s like tradition. We go to my cousin’s house and do a big dinner.” Junior Gabriella Gurujan said, “My whole family goes to my grandma’s house and she cooks the turkey and all the sides and we spend all day at her house.”

Senior Maimuna Muntaha said that “[she] spends the entire day with her family and helps make food. [She] watches charlie brown’s thanksgiving every year and paints.” 

Given the ongoing pandemic, gatherings have decreased in popularity for some. In response, students shared that spending the holiday is different for them this year. Senior Sarah Hardeo expressed,  “We’re going to cook this year with my family. I usually spend it with my extended family, but since Covid came around, we can’t gather like that.” 

Similarly, Sophomore Abigail Schwartz says “This year, I am celebrating with my family, which is different from past years because we are not meeting up with as many people.”

Freshman Jasmyn Pillay said, “During Thanksgiving, we set up a Christmas tree.”

Senior Avary Kwai said, “I usually celebrate Thanksgiving with the entire side of my dad’s family, but because of COVID, this year I am only celebrating with my immediate family. We are going to eat at Mizumi, a buffet restaurant, this year. We don’t necessarily have special traditions—we kind of just have an unconventional celebration on our own. Most times, we eat Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, and other Chinese dishes to add onto the feast.” 

French and Spanish teacher Paola Sierra revealed, “I am going to be getting together with my family. We have turkey, sometimes we make special desserts that are part of our Columbian culture. There is this dessert called Natilla. We also have a pork dish called Pernil that is popular in Hispanic households. This year, we will gather with a smaller number of [vaccinated] people. The house we are going to go to will have a backyard. Because of the pandemic, we try to remain outdoors.”

Art by Zerlina Yau