Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a conversation

I had an interesting conversation with a Hungarian friend last week. At ELI we (Michelle and I combined our classes for the evening) introduced them to our American Thanksgiving by teaching them about the reasons why we have it and what a "typical" Thanksgiving day/weekend is like for many. We introduced them to new foods and vocabulary words. I had fun! When I asked what they knew about Thanksgiving, the only response was, "You eat a lot of turkey." Ha ha. True. Michelle had a great true/false quiz she gave about Thanksgiving. I learned some things myself!

The last few minutes of class we decided we'd spend some time together sharing what we are thankful for. I told them it could be big or small, didn't matter, just to share with us! I thought this would be a piece of cake. We all have things and people we are thankful for. I even went first to show how easy it was.

Much to my surprise, they had great difficulty. Once one person said "family and friends," then just about every person said that with a few people in between who said "I don't know." One of those people came up to me afterwards to tell me that was a very difficult thing to do because they don't have this Thanksgiving holiday. I told him several times that being thankful is not solely tied to this holiday but something we should be doing every day. He kept insisting though that it was difficult and that he didn't have much to be thankful for. He said that Hungarians have a difficult time with this, not just him.

We talked for a bit, and I walked away with a heavy heart. I know God allowed me to have this conversation so that I know how I can continue to share with this person and how to pray for this person. I was sad to hear it but know how to pray. Maybe you will join in praying, too!


Kacie said...

It's so true-- I tried to do the same thing with my Hungarian student, and he had no idea what to say! Blew me away.

Kelly said...

That is so interesting! I would never have realized that other countries would have problems with the concept of giving thanks.