Monday, November 12, 2007

Turkey Land USA

By Donovan G Brown
Staff Writer

Throughout history many cultures have given thanks to something or someone for being generous in providing their needs. One such experience is Thanksgiving - or should I say “thanks for the stuffing day?”

In 1621 the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast. This is now known as the first Thanksgiving. Although cooking methods and table etiquette have changed as the holiday has evolved, the meal is still consumed today with the same spirit of celebration and overindulgence.

This was set as day for giving thanks to God by this great country’s forefathers and foremothers. Now it has become a best-seller time of year, when you can see “Shoppers Gone Wild.” You can purchase yours for only $9.99 while supplies last, on DVD and blue ray disk.

When dysfunctional families like mine gather together (or not), it is to be glad everyone is still alive and well, to enjoy the time we don’t get to spend together all year round. We get stuffed, argue about who’s not coming to whose home because of what happened last year, and then go home.

I decided that it would be interesting to see how many students I could interview to find out more about Thanksgiving in this age. While speaking to art student Lawrence Itoka, I was surprised to hear how he celebrated this day in the country of Liberia. According to him, they celebrate Thanksgiving on the first Sunday of November. The people from the village go to church and bring a plant for the pastor/priest to bless so that they can have an abundant harvest. But in America, Itoka said, the turkey represents Thanksgiving.

Brian Parker, a first year accounting major said, “I look forward to Thanksgiving. I have 11 aunts and uncles. They has a great time as a family. There’s love in this home. We eat, give thanks, and then the men sneak off to watch football.” As he spoke, a big smile crossed his face, and he just lit up.

Walking the halls of Housatonic, I saw many faces. One such face was Cathy Cox. She was busy reading the Connecticut Post, getting ready for her next class. According to her, “it’s just a day to visit with parents, eat and hang out. Nothing special.”

In the country of Laos, they do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but now that Christina Xayath lives in America she “does as the Romans do.”

In other countries – like my country of Jamaica - they also do not celebrate Thanksgiving, even though they may be a part of the old British colonies. However, there are people who have lived in America, and have returned home celebrate it as a new tradition.

Thanksgiving should be a time to reflect on having one more year under our belts, and how fortunate we are. Every day should be an opportunity to give thanks, and especially a day called Thanksgiving. It should not just be a day off, but a day that requires our time to get involved and give thanks.

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