PKU Shenzhen held a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration upholding the traditional American Tradition of offering gratitude and seeking blessings that is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November.
The doors of Moot Court were thrown open to international students, faculty, and staff, and Chinese students on the evening of Friday, November 27, 2015. The night’s festivities opened with a brief introduction by hosts Maximilian Karnfelt and Elaine Wang (Wang Qian), who both impressed the crowd with their bilingual talents. They introduced the annual Thanksgiving Toast delivered by STL’s Professor Gina Pak who greeted the crowd with her exuberance and shared some insight on the history and culture behind observing the tradition. Hosts Max and Elaine then guided the night through dinner, a raffle, and karaoke. The dinner was catered by Metro, Frankie’s American Bar & Grille in Nanshan, and Baeckerei Thomas of Shekou. The diverse crowd indulged in a night of merriment and a lavish spread of drinks and traditional Thanksgiving food which included some delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cobbler, and more.
As the night continued, the Thanksgiving raffle saw four prize winners and was followed by KTV—a favorite national pastime. Chinese and international students alike indulged in an evening of singing and dancing on stage.
How does it feel to celebrate the holiday miles away from home? Shares Karras Lambert, a first year Finance student from the USA, “Celebrating Thanksgiving on the other side of the world with friends in a huge room instead of family gathered around a small dining table was a new experience for me, but the extra food, noise, and laughter made it a really positive one.”
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the celebrations welcomed donations to support Heifer International, a charitable organization that strives to end hunger and poverty. The money collected was raise to gift a farm animal to a family in need, supplementing Heifer International’s beliefs that giving an animal is like giving someone a small business, providing wool, milk, eggs and more. These donations helped provide families a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood.
Ahead of the hectic schedule of the midterms and assignments, this indeed was a wonderful opportunity for both the staff and students to indulge in some leisure and fun! A special thanks to the Chancellor’s Secretariat Office, CA Program, International Association, and English Association for organizing this event, with further support of the Peking University HSBC Business School, School of Transnational Law, and Yinyuan Catering Company.
Written by Gayathri Jagannathan
Edited by Megan Mancenido