Around the World

Around the World party theme - thumbnail image

My first year in college, I could not afford to go home for Thanksgiving. My roommate told me he was also going to be staying at the school for the holiday and he knew at least five others who would be spending Thanksgiving in their dorms. It occurred to me if there were so many of us around why didn't we get together and have our own Thanksgiving party?

My roommate and I asked around and found out there were quite a few students who would be staying on campus. Some of them were not leaving for the holiday because their families did not celebrate Thanksgiving. It was the diversity of the students staying behind that first gave me my idea to have a Thanksgiving potluck with the theme: Thanksgiving around the world. The guests would dress up in the traditional costume of any country from any era and bring a dish traditional for celebrations. Everyone liked the idea.

The first thing I had to do was convince the school administration to allow us to use some space on campus, as our dorms were way too small. I was expecting to be turned down, but to my surprise the administration allowed us the use of the student lounge in my building as long as I promised there would be no alcohol or drugs. No problem.

A few of us pitched in to hire a DJ to play pop music as well as some favorites from around the world. Some other students made colorful cutouts from poster board and other items from a craft store to make famous landmarks from around the world. The Eiffel tower, Big Ben, Pisa's leaning tower, Mt. Fuji and the Statue of Liberty would be attached to the walls with scotch tape.

I made up fliers with the time, date, and location on them and my roommate helped me post them in the student lounges in all the on-campus dorms. Soon after we put up the fliers, students started coming up to my roommate and I offering to provide entertainment for the party. I never knew I had so many talented friends only a few of which were actually studying performance art. The party was getting better every day and I could hardly wait for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day, an hour before the party, my roommate and I put the poster board landmarks on the walls, covered the tables with paper tablecloths purchased at a party store then sprinkled some leaf shaped confetti on top to make the tables look more festive. We wrapped sets of plastic utensils in paper napkins and stacked plastic cups next to them. We were nearly done setting up when the DJ arrived so I helped him with his equipment then got into our costumes. I was just wearing my karate ghee, but my roommate had gone to a costume shop and rented a Scottish costume, which was pretty funny because he's Chinese.

The first guest arrived, as if on cue, when the music started up. Soon the tables were filled with food from every ethnicity: American, Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and many others. An art student brought her paints and was doing face and body painting her designs were very imaginative and colorful. Another girl, I think she was studying Psychology, was offering hand writing analysis and what she told me was pretty amazing. If this had been all the entertainment, it would still have been a fun party, but there was more to come.

The entertainment began with a belly dancer, after that, a Thai dancer performed and the concluded with a couple doing a swing dance. My roommate and I did a karate demonstration and lastly, another talented couple sang. He did a fantastic Elvis impression and his girlfriend sang like Janet Jackson!

Everyone was having such a great time no one wanted the party to end, but eventually the DJ did have to go. I have been asked many times if my roommate and I plan to do it again next year and if I think I will.