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UC international students forge their own Thanksgiving tradition

Posted at 10:58 PM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-29 00:00:31-05

CINCINNATI — Thanksgiving represents a time when families and friends come together to share food, stories and sometimes cultures with one another while breaking bread.

At the University of Cincinnati, international students have found their own way to engage in Thanksgiving traditions while sharing cultures from their home countries as well.

Sudarshal Pandey and Pranita Dhungana are from Nepal, and both are studying at UC. Pandey is a math major, while Dhungana studies chemistry, but the pair have come together to share in the U.S. tradition of Thanksgiving.

"I'm really thankful for all the opportunities that UC has given to me," said Dhungana.

For their Thanksgiving celebration, Sudarshan cooked up a cauliflower curry dish, meant to add some international flair for the feast. It's a recipe from home, and with that contribution, he honors America's melting pot history and his Nepalese roots in one fell swoop.

But in Nepal, celebrating this kind of feasting is a bit harder to achieve.

"Nepal's average income is about $1,000 a year," said Jon Weller, director of international enrollment at UC. "They've been given an opportunity to come here and they have taken advantage of all the opportunities they've had."

It's one reason they understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. For some students, it's a time to reflect on the doors their scholarships and education are opening.

"We were just grateful to have found this community because we are so far away from home," said Dhungana.