WKU Students Celebrate "International" Thanksgiving

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

The languages may sound a little different, but the message of "thanks" seems to be universal.

WKU students were invited to break bread with one another for this Thanksgiving, instead of a less traditional alternative.

"It's very important that every student have the opportunity to have more than just a microwave dinner for Thanksgiving," assured Kevin Utt, Pearce-Ford Tower Hall director.

International student Nguyen Cong Thanh Thung says he was taught about Thanksgiving as a child in his home country of Vietnam.

"It shows how people can be thankful for the good done to them from so long ago. When I got here, it just strengthens the image I've had," Thanh Thung said.

While the meal consisted of all the American Thanksgiving staples--dressing, turkey and all the fixings, it was a fairly new menu for Saudi Arabian student Abdullah Alanamla.

"This is the second time I've eaten turkey here in the States, so it's good," Alanamla confirmed.

Still, it wouldn't be an international dinner without some other cultures represented at the table.

"Not only did we offer them the turkey and the pumpkin pie, many of them brought side dishes that represented some of their fall festivals, such as the moon-cakes for the Chinese students," Utt explained.

Alanamla says the chance to spend the holiday around others from different cultures gave the day a different feel.

"It's a good idea to bring other people from different countries to know each other, to have a knowledge for another culture," Alanamla said.

Thanh Thung is just grateful for the family feeling he says the dinner has brought.

"Looking at this many people coming here and talking to each other and eating together, it really gives you a family feeling," Thanh Thung admitted.

So hopefully the language of Thanksgiving will become international.

In it's seventh year, close to 60 students attended the Thanksgiving dinner.

Utt believes this is the largest turnout for the annual dinner.

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  • by Pam Location: Indianapolis on Nov 28, 2007 at 03:54 PM
    Kevin, Tobi and Isaac Utt are members of our family in Indianapolis and very much missed at home this Thanksgiving..but we are very proud of them and the sharing, caring attitude of Thankfulness that they shared with others not able to be with family in their home countries. We were actually jealous that we could not be there to share this experience with them.
  • by Patsy Location: Birmingham, AL on Nov 26, 2007 at 07:48 PM
    Awesome story! What a great concept and a wonderful job for these young people to be able to share thanks, and a family dinner regardless of home country. Kevin Utt did an incredible job as a spokesperson for this group.
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