The YWCA Literacy Council serves over 40 different countries. Thanksgiving, unlike other American holidays, is one that is more translatable for many cultures.

The idea of gathering with loved ones, giving thanks, and sharing a large meal is speaking the same language, no matter what words you use to describe it. The table or the food might vary a little, but the concept of Thanksgiving is not lost.

Thanaa and her family came from Syria six years ago. Thanaa is one of our Spotlight on Achievement winners who went from being a learner to becoming a tutor to help others.

Thanaa had never heard about Thanksgiving prior to coming to the United States, but she has celebrated every year she has been here. When asked about Thanksgiving, Thanaa replied, “I like this holiday a lot because we need to thank people for the good things they do to make our life better. The kids at school have a lot of activities to thank their mom, dad, and teacher.  At home, we thank God for all the great things we have. I do not cook turkey because I do not know how, so I cook chicken.”

The meaning of Thanksgiving is something that translates no matter what traditions, language, or food preferences one might have.

– Bonnie Juarez
Director, YWCA Literacy Council