Immigrant stories

Election thoughts, Thanksgiving Table

It’s already time for Thanksgiving 2016! It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting at last year’s Thanksgiving meal and chatting about the elections with a group of elementary school kids. While I knew better than to get into serious conversations about politics with their parents, it was a whole funner story with the kids. After this year’s Thanksgiving this article will probably not have as much zing, as we will know who is going to be the all powering person in the next few weeks.

With the upcoming presidential election its natural to hear everyone talking about who “the chosen one” will be. At last Thanksgiving a group of five children had their take on the elections as well. At that time last year, we didn’t even know the presidential candidates.

John, my former student rolled his eyes, as he chomped on a piece of turkey and said, ” Well hopefully it’s not Donald Trump. EVEN Hilary would be better than that!” His ten year old twin brother didn’t seem interested in my question of who they thought will be our next president. He was having much more fun playing with the leftovers of his cranberry sauce, while being distracted by dessert that was about to appear from the oven.

Bread pudding (One of the Thanksgiving desserts.)

The youngest of the lot, but by far the cheekiest, Ben proclaimed, “It should just be Obama!” To which John replied in an all knowing voice, “Uh hu! Only two terms. He cannot be president for more than that.”

I flashed back to my days in the classroom and realized how much I learnt from the kids I taught and what I learnt about their homes, their lives from their opinions and comments. Now besides learning, I got to see it and be a part of it. Before that it was all part of my imagination! It is almost indulgent to be part of this world and understand it’s ways and celebrate the holidays with families that have been enjoying it for years.

Alice, who is only seven suggested that Washington D.C. be president. I wondered what a seven year old girl hears and what bit she connects to make her own understanding. Just as I was going to be all teacher’ly’ with her and explain my question, Nate did a much better job responding.
“A city, cannot be president,” he said kindly, ” But you are right in that George Washington was the president. But that was a long time ago.” Then by the advantage of his age, he set off a whole table of mimes each doing their version of a dead person- eyes popped out, heads dangling and tongues sticking out. Little chuckles filled the table and the topic of conversation moved away from politics.

This times elections seem to have sucked me into politics. Somehow everyone around, including people I speak to in other countries and my parents and husband ( especially my husband) are all talking only about the candidates. Growing up I knew nothing about politics and possibly enjoyed the same carefree attitude as the kids at the Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t really care who ruled India; whether we had a sleeping prime minister or a corrupt one didn’t seem important enough for me to talk about- even for a minute! Now, I too am sucked in- into this who political game.

I watched the debate. ?
More election talk– I went for an exhibit of photographs by ICP at Mana Contemporary. ?

The president of the United States, seems like not just the head of this country, but a person whose decisions make a difference to people, the world over. It is someone with a deciding hand on global issues. Someone who makes a difference. No wonder I care!!

Now, everyone seems to have forgotten- strike that, no one ever cared about or knew Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio and all the other candidates for the race. I almost fell off laughing when a Texan told me Chris Christy was charismatic and a good choice.

Almost every person in the world seems to want something from the next person who will govern the United States. Everyone, world over, hopes and dreams that their wishes will come true if their candidate is elected.The president of the United States is put on a pedestal.


I for one want to be able to able to get my work papers processed sooner. That is besides other things… I want to end huger and want world peace too! My immediate wish, with less than a week left to expire, is that my papers get processed! God forbid ( or the US president forbid) I have to move to cold cold Canada with hundreds of other Americans before Thanksgiving. ?

My Take–

  1. Current make for good enjoyable.
  2. A quick skim through the news on your fav newspaper’s social media page helps you understand the important things in the world around you.
  3.  You never know what you might end up learning.
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