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How To Include A Colombian Woman In Your Thanksgiving

Food during a Thanksgiving dinner
Serve the best of both worlds at your Thanksgiving celebration. Mix in some Colombian culture to make your partner feel at home.

It’s that time of year again, the time when autumn transitions into winter and Halloween gives way to the Holidays.

But there’s one occasion that’s in between the two seasons, a day that’s quite important to a lot of families. That day is Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a day when families gather around a table and eat a huge dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a bunch of other things. That dinner is usually in the late afternoon and while the notion behind the holiday is to give thanks for a good bounty, most people celebrate by consuming so much of that good bounty that they go into a food coma before the sun sets.

If you’re a guy who marries a Colombian woman, then she’s going to feel a little out of place when the celebrations begin. After all, while she may have seen depictions of it in television and movies, it’s likely not something that she grew up celebrating.

She moved countries to be with you and now you want to make her feel at home in your country. So how do you make her feel included? How do you make her feel like she has a place in her new home?

Well, you can start by integrating a few aspects of Colombian culture into your festivities. But what Colombian traditions can you integrate into your celebration?

Colombian Food

One of the most obvious aspects of your wife’s culture that you can integrate into Thanksgiving is Colombian food. After all, eating food is kind of the whole point of the holiday. That, and the potential four-day weekend.

So what Colombian dishes can you put on the table to give you and your fellow diners more calories to consume? Well, there are quite a lot of dishes that you can put on the table for you and your fellow diners to consume.

Patacones Con Hogao
Source: nicole tarazona, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr | Changes made: cropped, increased brightness
  • Aborrajados de plȧtano maduro: Also called Aborrajados colombianos, these are deep fried plantains that are stuffed with cheese. These are perfect if you want something that is both sweet and savory to serve as an appetizer or a side dish.

  • Suero: You probably put cranberry sauce on your turkey or mashed potatoes. Or maybe it’s gravy. Whatever it is, you put some kind of condiment or sauce on it. But what if those weren’t your only two options? What if there was something else? Well, there’s suero. This is a milk-based condiment that’s kind of like yogurt or sour cream.

  • Hogao: Speaking of sauces and condiments, you can also try Hogao. This is a sauce made with long green onions and tomatoes. It is normally used for meat, arepas, rice, or other dishes, so you could theoretically drizzle it on turkey or mashed potatoes.

  • Buñuelo: These are deep fried dough fritters that are usually served around Christmas time, so serving them at Thanksgiving would be pretty apt for a Colombian woman. They usually have a filling or a topping for flavor. In Colombia, they’re made with a small curd of white cheese and are deep fried until they’re golden brown. They’re usually served as balls.

  • Coffee: One of the biggest exports from Colombia is coffee. In fact, Colombia is famed for it and a lot of coffee brands claim to be Colombian because people generally think of Colombian coffee as simply being better than coffee from other regions.

    So serving Colombian coffee with dessert, actual Colombian coffee and not just some instant stuff that’s marketed as Colombian coffee, will probably be a salve to whatever homesickness your wife might feel and make her feel as if you’re intentionally including her culture in your celebrations.

Colombian Symbols

Beyond the food, you can also include a few symbols of Colombia when it comes to your decorating. Take, for example, your table’s centerpiece. Instead of having a pumpkin or a gourd, you could try having a centerpiece made from a Cattleya trianae, which is the national flower of Colombia.

Also, think about your tablecloth. You don’t need to use all the colors of the Colombian flag because that might be taken as being disrespectful towards the flag itself, but if you can take down a tablecloth that’s the same shade of yellow as the yellow in the flag, then you should get it and use it. This also works great for the season because yellow is an autumnal color, so you get to reference both the season and your wife’s culture. So that should make her feel more welcome.

Beyond decorations and food, you can also just ask your wife how you can make her feel more at home. If she’s feeling homesick, then ask her what you can do to make her feel more comfortable calling your country her home. Every woman is different and the things listed above will help with a lot of them, some of them are going to have different wants and needs. If you want to know what those wants and needs are, it’s best to go straight to the source.

Holidays can be pretty stressful. They can be even more stressful when they’re brand new to you and you have no idea what to do or what’s going on.

But you know what else can be stressful? Moving to a new country and trying to build a life in that country. Put both of those things together and the resulting cocktail can be overwhelming. So helping her assimilate into your culture by integrating her own into your holidays can make it a little easier for her.

Making things easier for her is just one of those things that you do when you’re married to a Colombian woman, because you love her.

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