Iuliia Kornilenko's picture

Thanksgiving with IBP

Last Sunday about 150 U of M students enjoyed slightly premature but still exciting Thanksgiving celebration.

The event was organized by a well-known ISSS based student organization – International Buddy Program (IBP) with the support of MISA and SUA.

The event’s program included giving thanks and then writing them down on the giant sheet on the wall. It sounds a little crazy but the collective effort of more then a hundred of students from different countries made it feel both global and amazingly inspiring at the same time. Besides, the sheet with a hundred replies to “What are you grateful for?” makes an awesome background for Thanksgiving pictures, which students willingly took advantage of. It is quite overwhelming to see how despite having different cultural backgrounds we all have similar values.

An ISSS representative, Barbra Kappler was kind to share her family’s Thanksgiving prayer with all the attending students. After that came a delicious traditional
Thanksgiving meal from Kafe 421. It included roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy corn bread, mashed potatoes and other salivating foods - more then enough to compensate for kinky Minnesota weather and short winter days.

Wendy C. Freund, a talented musician from the college of Liberal Arts, gave a live guitar performance through the event, sharing her own music and creating the atmosphere of warmth and comfort.

After the dinner IBPeers were surprisingly energetic during the “Mummy” game. The challenge was to make your friend into a mummy in the limited amount of time with unlimited amount of creativity! The winning artists got fun prizes and cheers from the audience.

Thanks to this event IBPeers were able to experience a very significant American tradition of sharing dinner with family and friends in a special ambience of gratitude and kindness. And maybe we are not family, and maybe some people met for the first time but the prevailing atmosphere of excitement, involvement and friendliness encouraged camaraderie and established a strong sense of community and involvement that some might be missing away from home. Hooray to IBP.