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Liberian Thanksgiving

No turkeys please.

No turkeys please.

I just started work last week and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I already had a day off work on Thursday (November 3rd) for a national holiday. I was even  more intrigued to learn that the national holiday was… Thanksgiving. Yes, you read that correctly – not only is there Canadian Thanksgiving, but also Liberian Thanksgiving.

While Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, and Canadians on the second Monday of October, Liberians observe Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November…. so mark your calendars to avoid confusion and triplicate leftover turkey.

But on a serious note, Liberian Thanksgiving has nothing to do with turkey. I’m new to the country and have a lot to learn, so I asked around among my Liberian colleagues about the meaning of Thanksgiving and how they celebrate it. I can’t exactly say that I got a consistent answer. While everyone seemed to agree that it is a day to give thanks, people variously told me that they eat a big meal with their family; attend church to “praise God”; go to the beach; or go out drinking with their friends.

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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.

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