Culture

Immigrant Communities Put Their Own Unique Spin On Thanksgiving Traditions, Here Are Some Of Our Favorites

Among the many holidays celebrated in the United States (and Canada!) perhaps Thanksgiving is the one most closely related to family. Each year, hundreds of thousands of families reunite even if their members live in a different state or even a different country. Thanksgiving, in its contemporary iteration, is a celebration than is also a reminder that the land that is now the United States has been fertile ground for stories of second chances and dreams fulfilled (we should not forget, of course, that the land was never ceded by the original Native-American owners and that other than the original indigenous population everyone is a guest). 

One of the ways in which folk celebrate their own cultural identity during Thanksgiving is giving the traditional turkey and fixings a personal taste derived from the culinary traditions of their own home countries, or the part of the world from where their families originally come from. 

However, taking a liking to the very American turkey is not always an easy feat for some migrant communities.

Credit: Unsplash

As a recent article in The Washington Post wittily points out: “Many first-generation immigrants to America can’t help but eyeball the bird with skepticism, no matter how much they want to adopt the customs of their new home. Turkeys — often hulking specimens, hard to cook, rather bland — are not native to many countries around the world”. You can only imagine what a Mexican abuelita who knows how to make mole the traditional way, with about a million ingredients, must think of just sticking a big bird into an oven and lazily waiting for it to cook with butter, garlic and a bit of herbs and spices. Not for her! We are sure this hypothetical abuelita is up for a bigger challenge! 

So what about adding a bit of this? Yes, the smokey chile ancho!

Credit: Spices, Inc.

Mexican-American chef Adán Medrano recently revealed his secret to The Washington Post: the humble ancho chili, which is nothing more than a dried and sometimes smoked poblano. He created a recipe for Turkey Enchilado, channeling the culinary tradition of his family’s native Coahuila, in Northern Mexico. His recipe is spectacular in its simplicity. Medrano describes it like this in his blog: “A delicious Mexican favorite, this recipe for Turkey Enchilado, or Guajolote Enchilado, will bring mouthwatering smiles to your family and amigos, amigas.  I use only one type of chile, Chile Ancho, because I like the direct flavor and also because this is the dried chile that my mom used most often during the holidays”. Here’s the absolutely delicious and simple recetita. You are welcome. 

What about pavo con mole? Nothing screams “Mexican abuelita” like this timeless classic.

Credit: Locale Magazine

Mole is a complex sauce that, among many other things, contains chocolate, chilies and broth. This recipe is adapted for those more gringo inclined palates and has a bit of a sweet and tangy feel to it. It has plenty of shortcuts (like using Dona Maria mole instead of making it from scratch, just don’t tell your tias or they will eat you alive with chismes). This sweet and savory turkey can be the centerpiece of a good Cena de Accion de Gracias, and you can complement it with all the Mexican sides, such as papas con chorizo, nopalitos and of course a container full of steaming tortillitas. Find the recipe here

And did you know some dishes from India have a piquancy similar to the one found in some Latin American dishes?

Credit: Pink Chai Living

Have you ever tried tandoori? It is a delicious mix of spices that is used in the area known as Punjab, in Northern India. It is used to season grilled meats and make them tender and juicy on the inside, so it is the perfect fit for a Thanksgiving turkey. If you have a Latino family and want to be just a bit daring, this might be the way to go. Raj Thandhi, an Indian-Canadian woman and editor of the blog Pink Chai Living came up with an amazing recipe that honors her roots while also being the perfect hero for a family dinner. Tandoori is as complex as any mole and the paste requires a series of perfectly balanced ingredients. Just look at this list, which is enough to make your head spin!

3 cups yogurt
2 tbsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp coriander
1.5 tsp chaat masala
1.5 tsp garam masala
1.5 tsp black peper
1.5 tsp crushed fenugreek leaves
2 tsp black salt
5 tbsps each ginger and garlic paste
3 tbsps oil
2 tsp red food color 2
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup chopped mint 

Ready to get down and dirty in the kitchen and impress all your guests?

A Viral Video Of A Family Performing Banda In The Kitchen Is One Of The Best Thanksgiving Videos

Entertainment

A Viral Video Of A Family Performing Banda In The Kitchen Is One Of The Best Thanksgiving Videos

@shedcci / Twitter

The best (and maybe worst) part of the holiday season is spending time with extended family members. It’s not every day you get to see all of your primos, tías, and tíos. Even when there’s drama, you know it’s going to be a good time. Once the booze starts flowing and the comedera starts, a simple dinner becomes a party fast. If you need proof of what I’m talking about, please meet the Prado Family, who took Thanksgiving to the next level and caught it all on camera.

On Thanksgiving, the Prado Family met up to celebrate the holiday, and they recorded themselves lipsyncing to a ranchera song.

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

Each family member is playing pretend instruments, from a tortilla drum set to a little boy holding up a mixing bowl pretending it’s a tuba, tequila bottles as horns, an empty water gallons as guitars.  Even the cousins that don’t have instruments played a role in the video as audience members were holding up their cell phones capturing the magical moment.

Shedcci Elisa Prado tweeted the faux music video, and so far, it has been retweeted more than 100,000 and liked almost 600,000. Is that a viral tweet record?

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

As soon as the tweet hit social media, the video blew up. Everyone was sharing it and tweeting how much the Prado family reminded them of their own family, or how they wished they could be a part of the Prado family. The video completely encapsulates what the holidays are all about, and more so, the beautiful memories Latino families make when they’re together. 

The funniest thing about how many times this video has been shared is seeing all of the hilarious things people are pointing out about the video. There are so many little things here and there, for example, the drummer is legit the best part, right?

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

She really got into her role as the drummer. Her hair is all over the place, and she’s really banging the hell out of those tortillas. That is some next-level commitment.

Wait, the best person in the video has to be the little boy holding the bowl. 

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

He’s so in character that we can’t tell if he is falling asleep or is legit following instructions. They probably told him, don’t move and just hold this bowl. He is so cute. Honestly, one of the greatest tubas ever to play.

Now, when the singer begins his part, we could not help but notice all those damn shoes in the back. 

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

Is that a Foot Locker in the backroom, or what the hell is going on? There are so many shoe boxes in that room we can’t help but wonder if the Prado family also sells shoes. 

Also, upon further inspection, we couldn’t help but notice that the neighbor is spying on the Prado family. Everybody wants in on this family!

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

We, too, can’t help but wish we were part of the Prado family. They’re just having so much fun. While he seems like a peeping neighbor, he is a family member so that’s a good thing.

The tweet made the Prado family so famous that they now have their own Instagram account. 

Credit: pradocousins / Instagram

You know you love to see it. If you aren’t following @PradoCousins yet, what are you doing with your life? They are delivering the kind of content that made the Twitter famous over the holiday weekend.

Now, please excuse us for being naive on this one, but could this be true? It looks like the viral tweet already landed the Prado family a legit gig.

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

Banda Familia Prado — yes, their band name — probably (maybe not) will be performing at the El Agave Night Club in Farmersville, California, on Dec. 7. We’re already booking the next flight out to Fresno. 

But for reals, if you want to show your love to the Prado family, visit their ice cream shop in Boyle Heights.

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

“The lead singer and the one with the tequila bottle own this shop!” Shedcci tweeted about her cousin’s dessert shop, La Michoacana, in Boyle Heights. 

If we had to pick the best response to this viral tweet, it has to be this one.

Credit: @shedcci / Twitter

Yes, we all want to be part of the Prado family, but this lady is straight up looking for some action. Good thing she was set straight. Lady, he is married. Move on. 

We can’t wait to see what other gems the Prado family delivers because Christmas is just around the corner. You cannot leave your fans waiting.

Watch the full performance below!

READ: This Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving Turkey From Reynold Is Causing A Lot Of Tension On Social Media

A Honduran Immigrant Construction Worker In New Orleans Warned About The Hard Rock Hotel And Is Now In ICE Custody

Things That Matter

A Honduran Immigrant Construction Worker In New Orleans Warned About The Hard Rock Hotel And Is Now In ICE Custody

YouTube

Statistics show the people in the most vulnerable professions are jobs held by the Latino community. Window washers and construction workers put their life on the line every single day when they’re up on those skyscrapers or building them. Maids and hotel workers face assault all the time. The majority of the time, these workers don’t have benefits or insurance, so if they get fired or even worse, die on the job, their family gets nothing. We also know these workers face the risk of being deported when things go wrong on the job site. 

On Oct. 12, a Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans collapsed, and it was all captured on video.

Credit: @NBC6News / Twitter

The video footage of the building’s downfall went viral on Twitter. It looked incredible scary as it was located in the heart of New Orleans. The construction site was apparently an $85 million development project by King Company and was 18-floors high. When it came crashing down, it was evident that people were hurt, and even worse, dead. 

Three people died, and dozens more were injured as a result of the crash. One of those injured was a 38-year-old construction worker, Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma.

Credit: @criticalreading / Twitter

Palma happened to be on the 13th floor when the building came down. After the crash, his family told the Washington Post that Palma experienced headaches, back pain, trauma from the collapse, which resulted in insomnia. 

Just two days after the crash, Palma was facing deportation. What makes this story so suspicious is that Palma had reported issues with the construction site before its crash.

Palma, who is an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, reported the problems with the construction site to his supervisors and coworkers at least five times, according to the Post, but they never listened to his concerns. 

The Post also reports that Palma’s supervisors became aware that several people knew about his concerns. “After the collapse, some of those workers approached him, telling him that he was right, according to the complaint. The group was within earshot of several supervisors, the complaint says.”

A day before the crash, a video (above) showed a construction worker filming the construction site and discussing the shoddy structure. The man in the video says in Spanish that there were not enough support beams to hold the concrete above it. It’s unclear if the man speaking in the video is Palma. 

Palma’s lawyer said that his client is clearly being targeted because he had expressed concerns about the construction site. 

Credit: @markmobilty / Twitter

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” Homero López Jr., Palma’s lawyer, told the Post. “It definitely looks like they’re targeting him.”

His lawyer adds that his detainment, which occurred when Palma was out fishing, happened very abruptly, just two days after the crash. He said his client had been working on his immigration cases for years. 

His legal team is requesting the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to stop Palma from being deported.

Credit: @univisionnews / Instagram

“I hope that they intervene in this case given the stakes, not only for Joel but also for all workers and for the integrity of this investigation,” Mary Yanik, another lawyer on Palma’s case, told New Orleans Public Radio. Yanik said that the OSHA has previously helped another undocumented worker in the past, so she hopes they will do the same with Palma. 

“He could see that this was not right,” Yanik said. “His supervisor’s response to him raising those safety issues was ‘If you don’t want to do the work, we’ll find someone else to do it.'”

ICE claims that there’s nothing suspicious about Palma’s detainment because there had been an order of deportation already on file.

Credit: @prof_hlas / Twitter

“Any claims that this has anything to do with his involvement with the Hard Rock situation is not correct. Just look at the dates,” Bryan Cox, a spokesperson for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told New Orleans Public Radio. He added that Palma was ordered to be deported nine days before the building crashed. 

According to The New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (Workers’ Center), Palma’s case is getting a good amount of support from numerous organizations and groups from around the country. Click here for more information on how you can help Palma and his family. 

READ: In Texas, Undocumented Construction Workers Are The New Slaves