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?

This T-Shirt Has Caused Controversy For Its Anti-Immigrant Imagery And Now The Store Has Been Forced To Apologize

Things That Matter

This T-Shirt Has Caused Controversy For Its Anti-Immigrant Imagery And Now The Store Has Been Forced To Apologize

Ebony Mart

A shirt with the slogan “got papers?” featuring the silhouette of a family fleeing caused outrage in Port Arthur, Texas. The T-shirt leaves nothing to the imagination and would only be worn by someone who delights in interrogating the immigration status of others. 

The Ebony Mart on Gulfway Drive, where the t-shirt is sold, is a hot spot for Latinx families in Port Arthur. 

“A lot of friends, family, everybody know this store. I knew this store since I was a baby,” Kathy Delarosa told KFDM News she visits the store two or three times a week. 

The 21-year-old was a loyal customer so when she visited Ebony Mart and saw the t-shirt in person, she was naturally upset. 

“I don’t think it’s really nice to have for the store because a lot of Hispanics will get offended. I don’t think they should sell it at all,” she said.

The Port Arthur Latinx community is not happy with Ebony Mart. 

Needless to say, seeing the t-shirt in their community did not make Latinx residents feel at home or welcome. The Port Arthur members felt like it was a slap in the face to immigrants. 

The owner, whose identity has not been revealed, claimed that she did not know the t-shirt was a part of a store order, according to KFDM. When KFDM spoke with the owner over the phone she said she no longer sold the shirts, instructed her manager to remove all of them from the racks, and extended an apology to the immigrant community. 

A candidate for Port Arthur City Council, Armando Ruiz, was not happy with the t-shirt either. 

“That’s outrageous,” said Ruiz. “That’s crazy. How a store would put out that type of product out there to sell. This is where I used to buy my uniforms, back when I went to school seven years ago. So this store is frequented a lot. It’s in a predominantly Hispanic area. A lot of Hispanics do come to this store.”

Political and offensive t-shirts appear to be a trend in the Trump era. 

T-shirts seemingly geared toward Trump supporters have been making the rounds, many of them have been singled out as offensive. Extrapolate what you will with regards to what that says about fans of the president. Just this week Bloomingdales was forced to remove a t-shirt that said one of Trump’s favorite phrases “Fake News.” 

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we apologize for any offense we may have caused. We take this feedback very seriously and are working quickly to remove this t-shirt. Again, thank you for taking the time to alert us,” the brand said in a statement. 

However, Pamela Wood s Baltimore journalist was not satisfied with the response saying, “Apologizing ‘for any offense we may have caused’ is not a sincere apology. This is not about journalists’ hurt feelings. This is about damage done to our democracy when your brand joins in perpetuating and celebrating the idea of “fake news.” Please try again.”

Port Arthur Residents feel business owners should be mindful of who they are selling to.

Texas is one of the most diverse states with Houston being the most diverse city in the country. Port Arthur is multicultural as well with Blacks making up 41 percent of the population, Whites 37 percent, and Latinx-identifying folks making up 29.6 percent of the population according to 2010 Census data. 

“When I saw the shirt, it is very offensive,” said Henry Jones III. “You have different ethnic groups in this area. In Southeast Texas, you have to be very careful what type of product you put out because you don’t want to offend people especially with something of that sort.”

Ruiz echoed Jones’ sentiment saying business owners need to be mindful of the communities they are representing. 

“They should look at the product before they put it out there to sell for the community,” said Ruiz. “They do need to look around their surroundings and see what type of people live in their community and check out what type of product they can have and can’t have.”

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!

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