Nov 27th, 2018, 11:34 AM

Turkey Day at AUP

By Alayna Amrein
Image Credit: Christopher Turner
Reminisce about the moments shared between AUP students during the 2018 Thanksgiving feast.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it a time to celebrate with family, a time to indulge in the delicious fruits of the land, a time to unleash your culinary skills?

For students at AUP, it can mean all of those things. That is why on Thursday, November 22, 2018 students gathered at the American Church in Paris to celebrate this year's festivities. 

Volunteers serving turkey to the guests. Image Credit: Alayna Amrein

The room was filling with joy and holiday cheer as more and more guests poured into the church. Having passed off their baked goods or Thanksgiving dishes to the hosts, the students and staff waltzed over to the tables to meet their friends and colleagues. Guests almost immediately followed this by heading to the tables of food, where they were overwhelmed by the multitude of options. 

Dinner time! The turkey is arriving. Image Credit: Alayna Amrein

As everyone was finally enjoying the feast and found their seats, Freshman class Representative, Christopher Turner, joined the stage to share a few words about the meaning of Thanksgiving and the significance of coming together as a community to celebrate, especially as most students and hundreds of miles away from home. He added that it is extremely important that while we celebrate this holiday, we acknowledge the history and perseverance of the Native Americans along with the countless contributions they made to American society and culture. 

Christopher Turner after sharing about the meaning of Thanksgiving. Image Credit: Alayna Amrein

He noted that Thanksgiving is something that unites us all, no matter from which origins or religious backgrounds we come, highlighting the beauty of sharing across cultures and peoples. In a private interview, he noted, "AUP's Thanksgiving is special because of the circumstances surrounding it as so vastly different than other Thanksgiving celebrations. For a lot of students, it's their first time not being with their families on Thanksgiving; for others, this is their first Thanksgiving altogether. So, we are able to bring these students, along with the rest of our diverse community together for an amazing evening of reflection and togetherness."

Having thanked our host, The American Church, and recognized their gratefulness of being able to come together and celebrate, the guests went for round two to fill up their plates with more goodies.

Alfio Lococo serving stuffing Image Credit: Alayna Amrein

Thanks to the lovely volunteers like Fio, the guests were able to pass quickly in the long line, relieving their turkey and stuffing cravings. When it comes to stuffing, are you more of a one or two-scoop kind of person?

Friends waiting in line for dessert. Image Credit: Alayna Amrein

The anticipation was high as guests lined up for the dessert table. One after the other, they went to fill their plates with pumpkin bread, apple pie, pain d'epices, and other sucreries.

Chloe Denelsbeck with her plate of Thanksgiving goodies. Image Credit: Alayna Amrein

When asked about her experience at the AUP Thanksgiving Chloe Denelsbeck said, "I like that we are making new traditions. This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family and I like that they are giving us the opportunity to make new traditions here."

Spending the holidays in a foreign country, away from one's family can be difficult. Luckily, students at AUP are encouraged to join hands as a community and celebrate these special times of the year together, creating new traditions and lasting memories.