The Family We Have Become: A Multi-cultural Thanksgiving Story

I am so excited to share this story!

I recently got back in touch with a guy on Facebook who I went to high school with in Tennessee.  After graduating, we both went our separate ways and started our lives, and I hadn’t heard much about him for years.  To my excitement, I discovered through Facebook, that he has a beautiful wife, Emily, and three beautiful children. Eager to catch up with them, and learn more about how they navigate the waters of a multi-cultural family, I asked Emily to share a little bit about their Thanksgiving celebration.  Here is the story of the Karawadra Family Thanksgiving.

The Family We Have Become

I am part of a multi-cultural family like many families are in the United States. This is a path my husband and I chose when we got married 14 years ago. My husband Dee is a Gujarati Indian with strong family roots in his heritage and culture. I am a typical American girl from the state of Maine. We couldn’t be from two more totally different worlds.

Seventeen years ago we met and have been together ever since, living in Memphis TN. Did I know what I was getting into then? Absolutely not! However this journey has taught me lessons beyond what my sheltered world ever could have. With this meshing of two different cultures came our family.

Part of being in our family means that a holiday will never be spent alone. Whether it is an Indian holiday or an American holiday, this family celebrates it with the same passion. Our three daughters thoroughly enjoy celebrating holidays. They embrace the Indian culture and enjoy all aspects from dancing to food.  Thanksgiving is one of those holidays. We typically celebrate thanksgiving with Dee’s side of the family. Lots of them live in Memphis which makes getting together easy. Our Thanksgiving looks a little different from a typical “American” thanksgiving. The food that is prepared is a diverse offering of the traditional American themed menu of turkey and stuffing, to foods full of Indian masala spices. The menu is catered to all who are attending from the vegans, vegetarians and the meat lovers.

Next to the traditional turkey and stuffing sits a tandoori turkey and curried vegetables. This is the thanksgiving that my children have come to know and love. Although it may look different the celebration is the same. The true spirit of thanksgiving takes place each year at the Karawadra thanksgiving table. Gathered around the table enjoying the food and great company are friends and family. Everyone contributing to the menu with the dish they do the best.  The time is used to unify the family and to be thankful. We are not just thankful for the food and great company, we are thankful for the relationships that have been built around this table over the years.

Although it may be silent, there is a true gratitude paid to one another on this day each year. Whether it’s between a sister and a brother or a niece to her uncle the appreciation and love for one another radiates from their faces. I am thankful for having experienced this first hand, and I am more thankful that my children have been able to live it. This day is not about the turkey, but about family, friends and a true appreciation for life. Out of holidays like this our family was made.





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14 thoughts on “The Family We Have Become: A Multi-cultural Thanksgiving Story

  1. hey,thanx for sharing! i think its lovely how beautiful life can become with so much of undertstanding and celebration of diversity .still some people fight over the differences.

    • Now, though, I’m afraid to post anything on FB. It is nice to reconnect with long lost friends, but I think twice before posting anything now.

  2. This is a nice story but I have to state: Most white women are very racist against Indian men! They would never date an Indian as they are seen as smelly, ugly foreign etc. etc. Websites like this give the false illusion that white American women are in relationships like this, when the truth is these are very rare.

    • I have to agree with you that there are many white American women that feel that way. But, there are also Indian men who wouldn’t touch a white woman with a 10 foot pole. I know how American women are perceived by some Indians. Racism is an ugly truth everywhere.

      My website is not based on a false illusion, and I’m sincerely sorry that you feel that way. This is our life and there are others like us. I make no claims that ours is a common union. As a matter of fact, if you read some of my posts, you will see how isolating such a relationship can be. In our twenty years of marriage, I think I’ve only personally known 4 other couples like us. And 2 are divorced. That’s why I write the blog… to connect with others like us.

      • hey ,no offence to you akshay , but i think u need help.pls see a’s a sweet lady talking about her experiences in
        her intercultural married life nad u r bringing racism to her,very sad, and where do we don’t have racism,i think we as indians don’t have right to talk about racism ,isn’t a brown guy preferred by most of the indian girls as a partner and vice other society can be as racist as indian.i have never been to america but as far as i understand by my friends who live there since many years that if u keep urself groomed and fit.and pay respect to the local culture and mingle with them ,you never have problem dating ,hope this helps you.

        • Yogesh thanks but no thanks. I am happily married, but just as Sheryl said most white women are very racist. And I assure you, you WILL have problems dating in america

          • I have to agree with you that there are many white American women that feel that way. But, there are also Indian men who wouldn’t touch a white woman with a 10 foot pole. I know how American women are perceived by some Indians. Racism is an ugly truth everywhere.

            In case you forgot, this was my comment. There are racists everywhere, but they do not represent the majority.

            I will not allow anyone to use my blog to twist my words and spread ugliness to other readers.

  3. Support for Sheryl here. I have read a lot of American/Indian relationship blogs and I will say Sheryl’s has been, hands down, the most even handed and perhaps accommodating one to the Indian cultural side (and it seems that all the while she has maintained a strong identity for herself). This is a balance many of us in Indian/American relationships struggle to find. I am glad this blog is here and feel it is written in an honest and understanding tone of both sides – a rarity in the genre.

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