For many of the international students, Samuel’s event is the first real introduction to the American Thanksgiving holiday they have ever experienced. For some of the other kids, it’s just a nice way to celebrate the holiday with friends when they otherwise might not have had much of a celebration at all.
“We get kids from all over,” Samuel said. “We’ve had kids from Ohio, kids from right here in Goshen... some of them just can’t go home for whatever reason. Maybe it’s too far, or maybe they just have too much to do. For example, next week is the last full week of classes before break, so some of them don’t feel they can take the time to get away. Then with the international students, many of them don’t have a Thanksgiving tradition of their own, so this is kind of their introduction to that. I think we’ve had somebody from every continent on the globe other than maybe Antarctica.”
Ashika Thanju, a GC junior from Nepal, was a first-time attendee of the annual Thanksgiving dinner.
“Every year, our advisor sends us an email about how Jason invites international students to his house for Thanksgiving,” Thanju said. “I didn’t go last year, but this year my friends told me I should come because it’s a really neat opportunity. This is really kind of like my first family Thanksgiving, and I really like it so far. There’s a lot of food, so it’s pretty cool.”
Viren Wadhwa, a GC sophomore from Singapore, was quick to agree.
“This is my first time here, and it’s great,” Wadhwa said after sitting down to the table to begin his meal. “It’s always cool to be able to hang out and meet new people. If I couldn’t do this, I’d have probably gone somewhere else, but I don’t know where. So this is really nice to be able to get together with everybody and enjoy ourselves.”