Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in Australia: Building a New Tradition

A Thanksgiving turkey that had been soaked for...Image via Wikipedia

This is the 2nd Thanksgiving holiday spent abroad for us since we relocated to Australia. For my money Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. It's not about buying presents or a religious holiday but rather it's about spending time with loved ones and giving thanks for the blessings we've received over the last year. Like many Americans I have very fond memories of Thanksgivings past. The challenge now is how do I pass on the traditions of this holiday that I love so much to my kids in this new country where it's not celebrated and and finding collard greens, pigs feet and chitlins (or chitterlings for the unacquainted) is next to impossible?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sydney, Soul Food & Secret Societies

Soul Food album coverImage via Wikipedia

Last night was the long awaited first meeting of the Blacks in Oz secret society. We chose a hidden location where none of the locals would think to look - the only soul food restaurant in town. Even though I'd only met one of the other founding members I was fairly confident that I'd be able to pick the group out from the other patrons at the restaurant. In my 15 months in Oz this was only the 2nd occasion I'd seen more than 3 Blacks together in one place at the same time - so I took a picture. It was a strong minded group comprised predominantly of African Americans plus one member of that even rarer species known as Black Canadians. As we sat down to converse and eat, a sense of anticipation, usually reserved for Tyler Perry openings (google it Oz) and Jay-Z comeback concerts, was palpable.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Melbourne Cup - Expats Perspective

The 1976 cup won by Van Der Hum.Image via Wikipedia

The Melbourne Cup, billed as "the race that stops a nation", could quite possibly be the best sporting event in all of Australia. It's similar to the Kentucky Derby with all of the money, pageantry and ceremony that goes with a huge horse race. The biggest difference seems to be that EVERYBODY here actually cares about it! The work day is done by noon and the bars are all holding race day events with everyone dressing up in their best regalia and placing bets on horses with sweet names like Shocking, Crime Scene and my favorite AlcoPop (named after a popular category of sweet pre-mixed alcohol drinks - think Mad Dog 20/20 gone respectable). The men wear dapper suits with striped ties. The women accessorize their classy Spring skirts with huge hats and headdress. The attire kind of reminds me of Sunday service at Baptist church without all the "Yes Lords" and hand fans.