Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The difficulty of Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is not unproblematic, with all the happy pilgrim crap that floats by (see image). And that's really salient if you're around American Indians. It's hardly like Columbus Day, but the holiday is so ridden with stupid stereotypes and bogus history that it's not entirely comfortable. I was reminded of that this morning when a Native person wished me a happy Thanksgiving. This is the norm around here, I think, but if you don't know people well, you certainly can't assume what they think about the holiday.

I guess my personal take is that it's fundamentally a good holiday — harvest festivals are good, and it's a rare chance to get together with family and friends that isn't totally drenched in religious or nationalist trappings. And it's about food, which always gets me on board. So, I'm for saving the holiday by debunking the myths and getting the history right. And yeah, being thankful is a worthwhile thing.

Today's local paper ran a nice piece that runs through the range of reactions to the holiday. Seems like they get it right. Anyhow, I'm pretty grateful to have a day of rest tomorrow, and a chance to be with family and friends.

Image from here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm all for killing the pilgrim myths, but did they have to take the tryptophan myth too? That's one I kinda liked.