Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all! Buon Giorno di Ringraziamento a tutti!
(Ok, so I might be a couple days early with the Thanksgiving thing, but just go with it!)
That’s right! You guessed it! “Ringraziamento” in Italian means “thanksgiving” in English. And in my books there’s no better word to learn on Thanksgiving weekend, apart from maybe tacchino – turkey.
This time last year I was running around Siena, helping my friend look for orange pumpkins (harder to find than you might think) and a turkey (also harder to find than you might think). And while I savoured the last month of my dwindling time in Italy, I was also quietly missing this beautiful time of the year in Canada, and the family celebrations I wouldn’t get to be a part of for the first time ever. Fortunately for me, it’s also a very beautiful time of the year in Tuscany as well, but it wasn’t home and it wasn’t quite the same. Equally beautiful, but different. This year, I’m back in Canada, happy to be celebrating with my family and sad to be missing this beautiful time of the year in Italy. Go figure!
But, contradictory feelings aside, please let me take a paragraph or two to ringraziare (give thanks for) a few wonderful things in my life.
I’m thankful to have been born in raised in Canada and for all the opportunities this has afforded me. I always wave my Canadian flag proudly wherever I go, and am conscious of the fact that my Canadian passport unlocks many doors for me. In the words of my dear friend and fellow Canadian Christie Bates, “I never knew I was so obnoxiously patriotic until I left Canada for awhile!” Grazie Canada, for being so wonderful!
I’m thankful to have had the chance to make Italy my second home. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to study, live and work there, and to have become so comfortable living in another country and another language. I’m also thankful to have found in Italy and all things Italian, something that I am passionate about and that brings an instant smile to my face.
Last but not least, being thankful for my large group of famiglia and amici (family and friends) almost goes without saying. Without the support of my family and friends I might not have been able to accomplish many of the things I’ve done in my life, and I’m sure the same holds true for many of you readers out there. Am I right or am I right? My family and friends have always encouraged me to go after what I want and to give it my all. They’ve been there when my all wasn’t quite good enough, and have helped me with life’s little setbacks. They’ve always been the first ones to help me achieve my goals and celebrate my successes, and for that I am truly grateful.
So in the days surrounding a holiday that, for many people, is quite food-centric, let’s take a minute to focus not so much on what’s on the table, but who’s on the chairs.