Life of an Expat: Spending the Holidays Abroad

Happy Late Thanksgiving to all of my American friends! I hope you all had a great holiday. Thanksgiving is a holiday I tend to miss in Japan. Japan doesn't have a holiday like Thanksgiving. Instead, they say a thank you before and after every meal. But it is now the holiday season, and as someone living abroad and away from my family, the holidays can be a bit rough sometimes.

Christmas is celebrated in Japan, but in a different way. The commercial aspect of it is the main focus, and it is more of a fun holiday for people than it is about spending time with family. The Japanese equivalent to that would probably be New Years. Since Japan does not consider Christmas a holiday of much importance, it is business as usual. But they do love the whole Christmas spirit with lights, trees, and decorations. So much so, that it's out by mid-November!

As a foreigner in Japan, most of the holidays I am used to spending off or with family are just normal days. Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, these are all just normal days here. I work with a few Americans and know many more outside of work. So we can relate to missing the holidays and missing our family and friends. Luckily, my school has its winter break around Christmas, so I do still get the actual date as a holiday. Many foreigners choose to go home for such an important holiday, and I have done so before. But many others either travel to other nearby countries for a vacation, or spend it in Japan. Even though we are all away from our loved ones, we have a special understanding and bond because we are in the same situation, and often we celebrate these holidays with our other friends and even let our Japanese friends participate. It's a good way to share cultural experiences, as well as help that bit of homesickness.

Here's a video reflecting my thoughts on the matter.


Shea
Life of an Expat: Spending the Holidays Abroad Life of an Expat: Spending the Holidays Abroad Reviewed by Shea Roberts on 8:00 AM Rating: 5
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