The essence of giving thanks   13 comments

Thanksgiving is as foreign to Argentines as tango is foreign to Americans. They are traditions that need to be learned before they are understood and adopted. For Americans Thanksgiving Day is a time to sit down together, count their blessings, and give thanks for their families and their loved ones. Families in America are a reflection of the diversity of this great nation. No two are exactly alike, but there is a common thread they each share, and the traditions and rituals of Thanksgiving have been passed from generation to generation.

Tango is not that sacred for Argentines, but for those who consider it their way of life, it is a sociocultural phenomena rich in rituals and traditions that is celebrated all year around with the extended families that are formed with those who share the same love and passion for the music, the poetry and the dance. Likewise, the rituals and traditions are passed from generation to generation. Thanksgiving has not transcended to Argentina the way tango has been inserted into the American culture. But it ever does, you can rest assured that the traditions will be respected and preserved, and no turkey will be replaced with ostrich for an alternative Thanksgiving dinner. No High Five Giving Day either.

Imagine if you can, one who makes the decision to become an American as an adult. The discovery of a tradition such as Thanksgiving Day takes time to absorb and understand, but when it does, it takes on a special meaning of its own. Blame it on worn out neurons but I have little recollection of Thanksgiving Days before 1995. This was the year Valorie and I spent our first Thanksgiving together, less than a week after she moved from New York to Sunnyvale. We were the guests of an Argentine couple in San Francisco. The turkey was cooked in brandy. Then we danced tango.

The next year I was in Los Angeles and Valorie in New York. The year after we both were in New York, and in 1998 we gave our first Thanksgiving Grand milonga with turkey and all the trimmings at the Dance Spectrum in Campbell, CA. Then in 1999 we spent Thanksgiving in a corn field outside Champaign, IL. This started a tradition that continued in New Orleans, first in the French Quarter, then Uptown and the Irish Channel. Our devotion to the spirit of the holiday has been super sized by our love of the tango and everything good that it inspires.

Valorie and I are busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner, and setting the table to share it with loved ones. We’ll remember everyone who took us into their homes and those who came to ours over the years, and be thankful for the memories. We will toast to all of you, count our blessings and give thanks for having you all in our lives.

A Thanksgiving to Remember

13 responses to “The essence of giving thanks

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  1. WHAT a night. I so wish I could have been there. What became of that beautiful old house? What is it now?

  2. This heartwarming….so much love in the room and I adore the Tango music!

  3. Thanks for the memories, what a beautiul film Alberto. The tango music sets the right tone of nostagia too. BTW,I think the salsa students are better dancers than the teacher. What a bunch of ringers! I love and miss you all.

  4. Oh, I do love a valentine in November!
    So sweet…the unguarded moments…
    No way to imagine then what we know now…
    Thankful that from time to time you can go home again.

    xoxo Jessica

  5. What sweet memories!!!
    Thanks for putting this together my lovely Tangoman.
    And yes Joni this is where we used to live! All 4000 sf of it! I miss that big dining room and deck and dance studio! And I miss so many of our friends now gone from New Orleans.
    Happy TG to everyone from Valorie, La Mariposa!
    xo xo

  6. Among the blessings we are thankful for, besides our wonderful family (now three generation os progeny) and our happy lives together, is that tango came into our lives more than a decade ago, and has enriched it beyone expectaions.

    We thank you for the major role you played.

    Walter & MariLynne

  7. Hi Alberto & Valorie,

    It was a beautiful event. Thanks for the memories. We will see you all soon.

    Take care,

    King & Carla

  8. What a beautiful thanksgiving message! Thanks so much for sharing this with all your friends and a special Thanksgiving to you and Valorie.
    hugs y besos

  9. Happy Thanksgiving Alberto and Valorie!!
    I look forward to being “Home” and seeing more of you in New Orleans very soon!!!
    xoxo Heidi

  10. Dear Alberto,

    happy thanksgiving day to you and Valorie. thanks for sharing the beautiful words and the video.

    take care,

  11. Valerie and Alberto,

    I enjoyed the video of your last Thanksgiving at your tango house. It was an occasion to be remembered. Have a happy Thanksgiving Day.


  12. Lovely post and video Alberto. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Valerie.
    I am making roast chicken! (there are only 3 of us this year)
    Oh, mi Amor is a new grandad as of yesterday! So there is a lot to be thankful for!
    A xx

  13. loved this movie! great job Alberto.
    V: is there where you used to live? it’s beautiful!

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