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On November 23, 2019 Access Program students and teachers organized an event as a great way to celebrate and honor a national holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day. On this date, Americans celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year and its legacy is hundreds of years old.
Having in mind it is an annual and very important U.S. holiday, Access students along with Access teachers came to the idea to invite guests from U.S. Embassy Podgorica and Fulbright scholars and organize both a reunion and feast in order to celebrate this special date. Students, guests, and teachers brought some food and today’s lunch was a perfect mixture of Montenegrin and American customs, traditions and food. The meals were versatile and included stuffing, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes being the part of American traditional kitchen as well as lamb meat, chicken, sarma, kacamak, civara and other meals representing Montenegrin cuisine.
While enjoying the feast, Access students had an immense pleasure to talk to our U.S. guests who shared Thanksgiving stories with them. Students were divided into three groups who were seated at three separated tables and each table had a special U.S. guest to whom they spoke about Thanksgiving Day, its importance, tradition, and history. Students were thrilled and surprised to hear both positive and negative stories/facts regarding the American holiday. Our guests come from different American states and gave our students different perspectives on how Thanksgiving is celebrated across the country. Students found out that besides staying home and enjoying special meals with family and friends, Thanksgiving Day may be celebrated in many other ways, depending on the state. Some people watch American football games which are played on that day, some participate in Turkey Trots running activities, while some people provide and prepare community dinners at churches or other centers for those in need. Students were happy to find out some new facts such as that Americans eat around 46 million turkeys on this date and they heard the reason for celebrating the holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. Students were excited to share Montenegrin traditional food and explain the way it is prepared. Also, both Access students and our guests had a unique opportunity to try out some new food items which they haven’t tasted before.