Helena Magazine

Celebrating Thanksgiving in the Angeles multi-faith household

Published 1:08 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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In today’s increasingly diverse world, many families are blending traditions and beliefs, creating a rich tapestry of cultural experiences within their homes.  In the Angeles household, Thanksgiving takes on a unique and heartwarming twist. I’m Sabah, a Pakistani Muslim, and my husband, Robert, is a Filipino Catholic. Our love story and journey together have been marked by a deep respect for each other’s faiths, a testament to the power of love in fostering understanding and inclusivity.

Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday for both of us, as this was the first time Robert introduced me to his entire family. Our story shows the true essence of Thanksgiving as we transcend cultural boundaries, emphasizing unity, gratitude, and let’s not forget love.

One of the most delightful aspects of Thanksgiving is the feast that brings everyone together. In the multicultural Angeles home, this is reflected in the variety of delicious foods. While Robert insists on preparing the traditional roasted turkey, I like to add my own twist by introducing savory Indian-Pakistani dishes such as biryani, kebabs, samosas, and carrot halwa or kulfi. The fusion of flavors and aromas in our kitchen is a testament to our love for one another and the appreciation of each other’s cultures.

As we gather around the dinner table, our blended families engage in a meaningful dialogue about our respective faiths and the shared values that unite us. As a family, we emphasize the importance of compassion, charity, and love, values upheld by both Islam and Catholicism. This open conversation helps our children, Mykhail and Elijah, embrace and appreciate the diversity of our heritage.

Mykhail and Elijah embody our family’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. They are raised to respect and learn about both Muslim and Catholic traditions, fostering a sense of belonging in both communities. This approach ensures that our children grow up with a profound appreciation of the value of unity in a multicultural world. We have so much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, especially since both Mykhail and Elijah were born during this month.

Therefore, celebrating Thanksgiving serves as a heartwarming example of love, respect and inclusivity that can transcend religious and cultural differences.  In our household, diversity is not a challenge to be overcome but a source of strength and richness that enhances our celebrations.  As you all gather around your own Thanksgiving table this year, I hope you can remember that the true essence of this holiday lies in our ability to come together in gratitude, love, and unity, regardless of our backgrounds or beliefs.  In doing so, we can truly embody the spirit of Thanksgiving in its purest form.   Happy Thanksgiving!