Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why Celebrate Thanksgiving Day?

Dear Reader,

On the fourth Thursday of November, many people in the US celebrate Thanksgiving and give thanks for the fall harvest.  Traditionally, families gather for a special meal that often includes a stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes -- sometimes broccoli-- and other vegetables.  The feast usually ends with a pumpkin pie. In some places, religous or civil organizatons host a dinner for their members and open their doors to poor people in the neighborhood.  As poverty has sharply increased among adults and children in the US, many will have no holiday dinner this year.

What are people celebrating?  Since 1863 some  citizens have observed Thanksgving Day. However, not everyone celebrates. Beginning in 1970, Native Americans have observed a National Day of Mourning at Plymouth Rock, in Massachusetts. The Pilgrims' arrival set off the elimination of countless Native People or drove them off the land that they had settled and cultivated.  Many Native People see no reason to celebrate. 

The struggle for justice continues in the US.  What is happening in your country?  Do you have holidays that honor some and marginalize others?  Please share your information with us on our comment section. 

In the meantime, have a good week!

Susanne Paul for Global Action on Aging

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