As a Diaspora African, and a reader of The CultureTube, you probably care about protecting and projecting your cultural heritage in Oyinbo1 land. This article shares 10 ideas for a fun, memorable, and African-themed Thanksgiving celebration.
Thanksgiving Day is not an African holiday, but who says you can’t infuse some Africanism into your celebration?
Well, if you like the idea of Africanizing your Thanksgiving celebration, but are short on ideas, we’ve got you covered.
Below are 10 ideas for a fun, memorable, and African-themed Thanksgiving celebration.
1. Dress Everyone in African Attire
Perhaps the easiest way to showcase your African origins is to dress the part. So get out your agbada, dashiki, boubou, or Iro and buba with gele, and rep your part of African culture.
Here’s some style inspiration:
When folks see you donning your African prints on Thanksgiving Day, they won’t have to ask. They’ll know you’re proudly African.
2. Groove to African Tunes
Listening and dancing to music is always a great way to have fun, burn a few calories, and stay connected to African culture. And, thanks to the popularity of music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YT Music, your favorite African-music acts are only a few clicks away.
Create a playlist of African music featuring oldies like Youssou N’dour, Salif Keita, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, King Sunny Ade, and Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and young bloods like Burna boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Fally Ipupa, and Sarkodie.
Bonus tip: Get everyone to include their favorite songs on the playlist, so it becomes all-inclusive.
3. Do an African Karaoke
You can never go wrong with Karaoke, it’s one of the best fun experiences.
If you aren’t rendering a rousing applause for your family’s Angelique Kidjo, you could find yourself rolling on the floor, thanks to your niece’s attempt to be a ticking dynamite like Arya Starr.
4. Prepare an African Meal (and Make Sure It’s Delish!)
Thanksgiving dinner is a crucial part of the Thanksgiving experience, so it makes sense to feature African cuisine in an Africanized thanksgiving celebration.
Regardless of the food you feature, make sure it’s tantalizing.
5. Plan an African Movie Night
With Netflix, a smart TV, and a home theater, you can create a near-perfect cinematic experience at home. If you need suggestions on which movies to see, here are five popular African titles showing on Netflix:
6. Indulge Some Nostalgia – Dig Up Old Family Photos
Thanksgiving is a great time to relish and reminisce about family memories. Plus, there’s always something to laugh about when looking through old family pictures. So pull out those old (print and digital) picture albums and have a good tease.
7. Zoom Call with Family Members around the World
If you can’t be with your loved ones for Thanksgiving, a video chat is the next best thing.
You get to enjoy a feeling of closeness, even though your family and friends aren’t in the same room with you, thanks to the more immersive experience that video provides.
8. Maybe You Shouldn’t Invite Family Members
Ugh. This needs to be said. If inviting family for Thanksgiving feels awkward, then don’t do it.
Family ties are unique and are worth strengthening and preserving. If the drama will do more damage, it’s wise to carefully consider whether a reunion is worth it. That way, what was meant to be a feast won’t become a potentially toxic get-together.
Our suggestion? Only invite people if you’ll have more laughs than frowns.
9. Rebuild Your Bridges
Here’s a necessary sequel to the last point:
Some bridges should be mended, but often, pride, ego, bitterness and a host of other factors get in the way. So why not take the first step and get to mending.
With that in mind, is there a friend or family you need to call this weekend?
10. Remember the Less Privileged
Generosity is a fundamental value in Africa and Thanksgiving Day is a good day to let that cultural value have expression. Remember, no matter how little you have, you always have enough to share. So look around and give a generous gift to someone who needs it.
And that’s a wrap.
We imagine you can work one of these suggestions into your thanksgiving plans, regardless of the plans you’ve made.Now, tell us: What did we miss? Share some of your ideas on how to Africanize the Thanksgiving Day celebration.