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Not everyone sits down with family around Thanksgiving table

Traditions vary among area residents

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POSTED: December 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Year after year, most of us spend Thanksgiving doing the usual.
We cook the traditional meal: turkey, stuffing and sweet potato or pumpkin pie.
We spend it with the same people, at the same location – the in-laws’ house, mom’s house, or at home with the kids.
And we do what we have always done: stuff ourselves to no end.
Although there is nothing wrong with keeping the holidays traditional, the Coastal Courier wanted to find some non-traditional ways area residents plan to celebrate turkey day.
In Ludowici, Drew Harter, owner of Tatoos by Drew, often spends Thanksgiving with people he does not always know very well, including some of Long County’s transients.
“There are always folks out here that don’t have any family,” Harter said. “I came here as a soldier in 1979. If I wasn’t married, I would have no family. So I sympathize with people who have no family at all.”
For Riceboro’s Geechee Kunda, a group that promotes and preserves African culture, Thanksgiving is harvest time. While others spend the day relaxing, the Geechee Kunda work.
“It’s a homecoming,” said Jim Bacote, one of Geechee Kunda’s founders. “In the old days, they didn’t just come to enjoy the dinner, they would come to do work, paint and prepare for the holiday season and the new year. We will be mostly working.”
In Hinesville, Carmen Rosas’ family will get to feast on dishes from her native Puerto Rico and the traditional turkey and dressing.
“We have something called pastelles (stuffed cornmeal or flour pies) and we’re having pork roast, which is something that Americans usually don’t have,” Rosas said. “We will be using all of our Hispanic seasonings and cooking up some arroz y gondules (rice and peas), having flan for dessert and serving a drink called the coquito, which is a lot like eggnog but made with coconut milk.”
And, of course, Rosas said, there will be plenty of salsa dancing to bring in the holiday season.
 

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