In Any Language, It's Time for Thanks
Posted November 25, 1998
WILSON — Yuri Gonzalez had never heard of the U.S. and Canadian custom of Thanksgiving until her family moved here from Mexico 10 years ago.
Today, she's giving thanks as if she had been born in the USA. The holiday may be new to her, but the meaning is universal.
"For our family, and our house and our furniture and our clothes," she says.
Of course, Thanksgiving is a North American tradition, but you might be surprised to learn how many newcomers to our country are also reflecting on their good fortune.
Here at the "Tienda Y Panaderia" shop (Store and Bakery) in Wilson, many families are buying ingredients for the holiday meal, though turkey isn't always the main course.
"They make tamales. They also make what they call a mole, which is a sauce they use on poultry," store owner Norma Rodriguez explains to the culinary-impaired. "It's spicy and they just put it on top of their rice and tortillas and beans."
Rodriguez says most of her customers observe Thanksgiving, though for many it's a meal spent with friends instead of family.
Most are single men who left their families in Mexico so they could work in America. They hope to bring their families here one day so they can celebrate together.
"They say it's just a way of giving thanks for being here, being able to work in this country and, you know, and basically what they get from here," Rodriguez said. "They can support their family better."