Canadians find guests ‘amazing’ – inspiring Scots couple

Image copyright PA Image caption An Afghan refugee family received their first Thanksgiving meal

At first glance, a picture posted by a Scottish couple looks like just another family table – but it’s actually an astonishing story of hospitality and compassion.

Peter and Rachel Barrack said their first Thanksgiving dinner in Canada included a few basics including turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

The Barracks only saw the wider picture of their new neighbours, the Afghan family, who had fled to Canada as a refugee, when friends asked how they prepared to host such a large gathering of people.

The group, they say, were not prepared for the excitement and anxiousness of the living in Canada.

Image copyright PA Image caption The Barracks shared photos of their guests, ready for dinner, on social media.

“As a Scottish couple who came to Canada to seek out a better life, it is more than we could have imagined,” said Mr Barrack.

“Thanksgiving dinner in Canada was epic.

“The one thing we all shared was the excitement of the experience, and the surprise of our friends who’d never imagined we’d be having Thanksgiving dinner in Canada!”

The Barracks said they invited the Afghan family after “they were going to spend Thanksgiving in a different city”.

They said they gave them time to adjust, while also leaving them with hints and advice on how to build their own community, which included joining in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete with dancing and a visit to the Swiss Chalet for dessert.

“Canadian customs were very different to our life experience. Our kirby, which is a small broth-based dish that is said to have been invented in Scotland, was confused by the Canadian substitutions of casserole dishes,” said Mr Barrack.

“This is an issue we had to navigate. As Canadian families do, the Barracks had to help each other out. They were not quite ready to settle down, and we didn’t want to take anything for granted. They opened up their homes and hearts.”

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