The holidays, anywhere in any country, are always a time for merry making. When you are an expat living abroad it is an expectation that you will partake in local celebrations and learning about cultural practices and really most expats want to celebrate with the locals. What is often difficult is when the holidays from your country or religion come ‘round and it’s time to celebrate and well, you become homesick because often times it is difficult to celebrate in your home-away-from-home. The good news is that as an ESL teacher it is expected that you will share your holidays with your students and co-workers! Yes! Our local staff want to know and understand about our Thanksgiving, our Christmas, our country’s national holiday and any other holiday you might celebrate. So, don’t hold back, share away, cook your traditional meal for your team, prepare a kitchen club event and make the candies and cookies you make back home! Plain and simply have some fun and share your holidays and traditions with your school. Community.
Sharing the Meaning of your Holiday
Chinese people love to introduce us expats to their holidays and festivals giving us the background and history of these special events. We are introduced to the food stuffs and the activities that go along with these special days, too. In return, share the meaning of your holiday with your community! When we share this information, it broadens the minds of our hosts and reminds us where we come from.
Cook up some of your family’s traditional holiday food stuff!
When my Indian friend visited me here in China during their festival of Diwali. We cooked up all the traditional food her family served at home and invited a slew of people over to my apartment for a Diwali Dinner; crazy fun and memorable for everyone. This is where you can have all manner of fun with your coworkers and your students if you will celebrate at school! Everything you will need to prepare your food you can find locally or on Taobao or JD or Boapals online. It will just require a little forward thinking and planning. If your school has a kitchen, you may be able to utilize this space to prepare the special recipes and some of the staff may cook beside you! Otherwise cook it at home and bring it into your office at school! I promise you your coworkers will love that you thought of sharing your traditions and yummy food with them!
Throw a house party
Yes sir indeed, invite your friends and coworkers to your apartment and with all the holiday goodies you have found online, you can decorate for the holiday and or cook up a storm together! There isn’t a much warmer environment or way to introduce someone to your home country’s traditions then by engaging them in the preparation of them!
The name of the game is to be proactive, open minded and open hearted and to sharing your traditions and all that entails with these new people in your life.
It is really as easy as that. The celebration doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect, just open up, share it all and make some new memories in the process. You’ll be happier for it all and your coworkers will be happy, too! This year I am preparing a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for the staff at my school! I have found a turkey that is being delivered before the big day, I’ll tune in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and view it while I’m preparing the meal in our school’s kitchen! It’s gonna be crazy fun and a very memorable Thanksgiving for everyone! #Livin’aDreaminChina!
ARE YOU READY FOR A NEW LIFE?
Teach, travel, and train with EF English First
Susan is an American woman living a dream — a dream to live and work in community in different countries! Several years in to her journey, she has found her home-away-from-home, while learning more about herself, more about the world, and building bridges through common language as an ESL teacher with EF Kids and Teens in Taizhou, Zheijiang, China. #Livin’aDreamInChina!
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