Students celebrate holiday with cultural spice

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As seen in the Nov. 26 issue

Zoe Kenealy, staff writer

As the turkey holiday approaches, a popular topic of discussion is food — lots of food. In a place as diverse as Los Angeles, this discussion can be taken to the next level. With every culture imaginable existing in Los Angeles, ethnically infused Thanksgiving dishes can be found in the households of several students at Beverly, some of which may come as a delicious surprise. From Russia to Iran, and even to Korea, the Thanksgiving traditions of students at Beverly represent the melting pot that Los Angeles truly is.

Russia

In senior Simonna Krichevsky’s Russian household, Thanksgiving means mom’s famous braised chicken with a red wine flavoring instead of the traditional turkey. Additionally, her mashed potatoes are served with a vodka gravy.

“For as long as I can remember, my family has been celebrating Thanksgiving with chicken. This is common in Russian households, and I am thankful for that,” Krichevsky said. “It is what I look forward to most about Thanksgiving.”

“That [vodka gravy] is somewhat of a joke in my family, and when we have people come over for Thanksgiving it is always a laugh,” Krichevsky said. “It’s a very small amount though, just enough to add flavor.”

Korea

Senior Sasha Park’s Korean Thanksgiving. In the Park family’s Thanksgiving, there is traditional pumpkin pie, stuffing and yams. However at the opposite end of the table there is a large serving bowl of fried rice with turkey chunks and yellow corn mixed in.

“The fried rice: there is no stopping Sasha from eating it all,” Park’s mother Ae Soon Kim said. “I made it one year because my husband wanted fried rice on Thanksgiving and I figured I could just use the ingredients that I use to make the traditional American Thanksgiving food that we also love. We always had leftover turkey anyway so cutting it up and putting it into the fried rice is perfect.”

Iran

Senior Nicole Nedjat-Haiem’s Persian Thanksgiving included easily-prepared turkey kabobs. A large dish of the kabobs sits in the middle of her coffee table for guests to eat throughout the night.

“The kabobs are great because finger food is always a necessity at parties and my family hosts a party every year for Thanksgiving,” Nedjat-Haiem said. “They’re always a hit because people want to eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but who doesn’t love kabobs? Also I feel it’s easier on my mom who has to prepare all the food.”

Around the world, food is an opportunity for connection and bonding. In the homes of students at Beverly, the ethnically infused Thanksgiving dishes illustrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving: Being thankful for the beauty behind all cultures and traditions, and the brilliance that can come out of doing so.

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