Charlack, MO (KSDK)-- For most of us, Thanksgiving comes with long-standing of traditions. But today, a group of International students from Fontbonne University learned what the uniquely American Thanksgiving is all about. They celebrated together at the invitation of one of their instructors.
Fontbonne University Instructor Dorris Finnegan's day began in her kitchen this morning at 4:30 preparing for what's become a Finnegan family tradition. Every Thanksgiving, Dorris Finnegan invites international students into her home so they understand what this day is all about.
"The pilgrims, when they first came to America received five kernels of corn," said Finnegan.
And there are things Finnegan can't teach, that her students have to experience, starting with the turkey. Some of them have never seen a cooked turkey before.
"This is very big. I feel sorry about him," laughed Syrian student, Souad Ajjan.
This pity and awe for the meal led to a defining moment.
"Just the reaction on their faces after seeing such a big bird," said Swiss student, Cristina Weber.
"And so we call him George," said Ajjan.
That's when the students, all from different countries and backgrounds, bonded in a way that had them laughing and talking for hours.
"He made my day," said Pan from Thailand.
Now the next Thanksgiving Holiday..."The first thing I will remember is George," laughed Venezuelan student, Daniel Hernandez.
That's how holiday traditions are born. All because of the good feelings, the laughter, sharing and togetherness. The food brought them to the table, but it's here they learn about giving thanks. And they realize that on this American holiday- they are one family.
"We are all from other countries, but we are human beings. So I think this is the idea. We are the same," said Venezuelan student, Luis Balza.
"You touch the lives of the people in this country, even though you're not from here. And I'm truly blessed to have you in my home and to share this special day with us," said Finnegan.