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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.


How come our Thanksgiving is different but called the same thing? I should investigate this, I know it doesn't have anything to do with the pilgrims but we learned about the pilgrims anyway in school.


Here is a good overview from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_%28Canada%29

In the US, it was kind of a 'holy crepe, we are still alive' thing but also looks like it was something practiced by the natives at the time which the pilgrims adopted.

Also right now I'm reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is really good so far and talks about this subject in general (one society overtaking another, etc). One thing I never thought about was the question was "why weren't there germs in the Americas that wiped out the Europeans that arrive". Would've made for interesting history if there had been. I also think one of my favorite stories is of some of the first explorers to the Americas (not counting the Vikings) encountered cannibals and well they didn't survive.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:52 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.

Those first two things sound good! Not so much the last.

Doing dishes drunk isn't a good thing? The next day we sometimes have to shop for plates because too many "accidentally" fell on the floor.

morecuminthancumin wrote:
Ooh, do you also watch football? Do you call it "football" or "american football"?

I believe we have a CFL special, of course our football is different from american football. I never watch it though.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:53 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:03 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
ExpiredSanity wrote:
Move to Canada? Ours is just to celebrate the harvest so we eat as much as possible, drink as much beer as possible, and then do dishes.


How come our Thanksgiving is different but called the same thing? I should investigate this, I know it doesn't have anything to do with the pilgrims but we learned about the pilgrims anyway in school.


Here is a good overview from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_%28Canada%29

In the US, it was kind of a 'holy crepe, we are still alive' thing but also looks like it was something practiced by the natives at the time which the pilgrims adopted.

Also right now I'm reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is really good so far and talks about this subject in general (one society overtaking another, etc). One thing I never thought about was the question was "why weren't there germs in the Americas that wiped out the Europeans that arrive". Would've made for interesting history if there had been. I also think one of my favorite stories is of some of the first explorers to the Americas (not counting the Vikings) encountered cannibals and well they didn't survive.


Hey, ours predates the pilgrims! And it was first in Newfoundland! Represent!

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:18 pm 
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This has been on my mind all day (and the last few days). On my way to the library today, I stopped in the American Indian Student Center on campus and asked if anyone would be willing to talk to me about Thanksgiving. Four people sat down with me and shared their feelings about the holiday and its history. It was a really eye-opening experience.

They let me look at this book: Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective

and this one: Rethinking Columbus

Both looked like great resources to have on-hand. The second one is published here in Milwaukee by Rethinking Schools!


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:58 pm 
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I take issue with how schools tend to approach Thanksgiving and the "discovery" of America, but how Thanksgiving was presented in school and how it was/is treated in my home were extremely different.

I would love for our schools to teach a more honest history of the Americas, but I don't think that needs to include me giving up a day(s) when I just want to get together with family and friends, eat good food, and be grateful for the present.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:46 pm 
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It's really much more about a harvest festival than anything else to me. I could just as well celebrate the harvest a few months earlier as the pagan Mabon, but why not just celebrate it as thanksgiving since that's when the rest of the country celebrates it. That said, I'm not much for the trappings of thanksgiving. I'm fine just doing it at home with the bf, although if extended family is around that's cool too.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:05 pm 
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I like the harvest festival type thinking as well. This past weekend, we visited a winter squash farm which was truly a highlight.

And also, I'd say depending on the region, natives have different perspectives on where they were 300 years ago, where they are now and where they will be in 300 years. My great grandmothers on both sides both lived on reservations, my grandmother on my father side lived in the Northeast while my grandmother (who I was close to) on my mothers side lived in the Southwest. Pilgrims weren't anything to her, it was the Spaniards, always the Spaniards.

I also took a class in college which was a survey of Native American tribes, past, present and future. It was probably one of the most depressing classes ever but really different outlooks based on region.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:27 pm 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
I take issue with how schools tend to approach Thanksgiving and the "discovery" of America, but how Thanksgiving was presented in school and how it was/is treated in my home were extremely different.

I would love for our schools to teach a more honest history of the Americas, but I don't think that needs to include me giving up a day(s) when I just want to get together with family and friends, eat good food, and be grateful for the present.


That makes sense. I don't want anyone to think that I'm implying they are doing anything wrong by celebrating. I just haven't figured out how to do it in a way I'm comfortable with.

I agree wholeheartedly about the education. I think we need more than that, though. American Indians are still some of the most impoverished and underserved people in this country.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:06 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Also right now I'm reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is really good so far and talks about this subject in general (one society overtaking another, etc). One thing I never thought about was the question was "why weren't there germs in the Americas that wiped out the Europeans that arrive". Would've made for interesting history if there had been. I also think one of my favorite stories is of some of the first explorers to the Americas (not counting the Vikings) encountered cannibals and well they didn't survive.


Jared Diamond is really a terrible academic, and has no business writing on or documenting the subject. He has not been trained as an anthropologist, and doesn't understand the field in the slightest. Please look up the plethora of criticism regarding his work once you are done reading it, please! Also, there were some diseases that we theorize to have been present in the new world which affected Europeans once they arrive, like syphilis!

(This is in no regards a slight to you, I just dislike him very much...)


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:18 pm 
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SprinkleButt wrote:
linanil wrote:
Also right now I'm reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is really good so far and talks about this subject in general (one society overtaking another, etc). One thing I never thought about was the question was "why weren't there germs in the Americas that wiped out the Europeans that arrive". Would've made for interesting history if there had been. I also think one of my favorite stories is of some of the first explorers to the Americas (not counting the Vikings) encountered cannibals and well they didn't survive.


Also, there were some diseases that we theorize to have been present in the new world which affected Europeans once they arrive, like syphilis!


I'm pretty sure Herpes originated in the Americas too.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:57 pm 
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SprinkleButt wrote:
linanil wrote:
Also right now I'm reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is really good so far and talks about this subject in general (one society overtaking another, etc). One thing I never thought about was the question was "why weren't there germs in the Americas that wiped out the Europeans that arrive". Would've made for interesting history if there had been. I also think one of my favorite stories is of some of the first explorers to the Americas (not counting the Vikings) encountered cannibals and well they didn't survive.


Jared Diamond is really a terrible academic, and has no business writing on or documenting the subject. He has not been trained as an anthropologist, and doesn't understand the field in the slightest. Please look up the plethora of criticism regarding his work once you are done reading it, please! Also, there were some diseases that we theorize to have been present in the new world which affected Europeans once they arrive, like syphilis!

(This is in no regards a slight to you, I just dislike him very much...)


Well I take whatever I read with a grain of salt :) And syphilis wasn't a germ that would've wiped anyone out, not like smallpox. I wasn't saying (and don't think he was either) that the Americas were disease free.

Of course there were lots of things that colonists faced coming to the Americas that drastically reduced their numbers, at least for the first ones that arrived. It wasn't anything close to what happened to Native americans though.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:19 am 
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I look at it as repurposing. But I can respect opting out, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:47 am 
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I've been thinking a lot about this post lately, especially because I lived in the plymouth area for a long time. i've always felt especially interested in native american issues because of my own heritage (my grandfather was a member of the Blackfeet nation but it was never, EVER spoken about in my family. And we have bank robbers and bigamists and all sorts of baddies in the family, but *this* was the skeleton in the closet! yeesh.).
Regardless of how you feel about thanksgiving, i encourage anyone who feels bad about native issues to explore and, if necessary, do something about it. there are things that can be done if people are interested. when i was a young'un, there were projects building schools on reservations (freedom schools). Even supporting or talking about projects is useful; the last round of MacArthur grants included an award for a linguist who created a curriculum for teaching Wampanoag in Massachusetts http://www.mvtimes.com/marthas-vineyard ... hp?id=2822 . We went to Plymouth Plantations some years ago around Thanksgiving, and we spent most of the time we were there sitting in the "native" area. The Wampanoags have an area of the Plantations that they staff with their own employees. Some of them wear native dress, but most don't- it's not an exhibit, it's almost a counter-exhibit. We had a good time talking with the people there about their experiences and perspectives. It was much more informative than the Pilgrim Land attractions at Plymouth.
One of my daughter's teachers was a Mashantucket Pequot woman, and we were often invited to events that the nation put on. The Pequot nation continues to fight with local government in RI, but they're alive and well, and it was invaluable for my daughter to realize that native americans are not just figures in the past. they're still here, albeit often under miserable circumstances. but i believe that mostly it's because the government neglects them since the general population figures that the native peoples are already gone. They're not.

i guess what my ramble is about is: there's proactive stuff to do. If you feel bad about the plight of native peoples, talk to people, explore your thoughts, find out what needs to be done. It might be as simple as influencing other people WRT language or attitudes, or something more involved like volunteering, writing letters to representatives, etc. You know, stuff vegans are supposed to be good at.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:21 am 
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FootFace wrote:
When I observe Thanksgiving, I am not commemorating genocide. I'm eating tasty stuff that (for some reason) I only eat at that time of year and telling people what I am thankful for.

TAKE BACK THANKSGIVING!


IsaChandra wrote:
I look at it as repurposing.


I agree with the above; when it comes to holidays, I do my best to take what I like/need/enjoy/find meaningful and leave the rest. Thanksgiving is actually one of my favorite established holidays, because A. we have a great deal for which to be thankful, and B. it requires no special decorations, music, or weeks-long extravaganza of obligatory mass consumerism. I just spend a couple crisp autumn days in the kitchen, then eat a huge meal with my family; what's not to like about that?

ETA: We also like to participate in Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-A-Turkey program; they send along a photo of your new feathered friend, which is nice to display on the dinner table!

http://www.adoptaturkey.org/aat/adopt/

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:04 am 
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I told my husband that I did not want to go to any Thanksgivings with his family because of the big, dead bird! My family is vegetarian, not vegan. I have the time off and could go this year... they live 7 hours away... but my brother is cooking and he is butter obsessed! I will stay home with my husband and eat my own can of cranberry sauce! I will stuff myself! Last year I was counting WW points (gave that up!) and he was mad! This year, bring it on baby!


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:16 am 
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Do yourself a favor and buy some cranberries and make your own cranberry sauce. I never liked cranberry sauce growing up but I started making my own a couple years ago. Best thing ever.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:28 am 
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Why is Thanksgiving on Thursday in the US?

In Canada it is on Monday.

We repurpose Christmas in my house. It's a winter celebration of light but because I have to work on the solstice and the kids are usually in school, and we get Christmas day off, that's when we have a party.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:30 am 
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elouise wrote:
"I love a ritual sacrifice."

"It's not really one of those."

"To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie."


Everyone should celebrate Yam Sham day instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:31 am 
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It is on a Thursday so we can have a 4 day weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:02 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
FootFace wrote:
When I observe Thanksgiving, I am not commemorating genocide. I'm eating tasty stuff that (for some reason) I only eat at that time of year and telling people what I am thankful for.

TAKE BACK THANKSGIVING!


IsaChandra wrote:
I look at it as repurposing.


I agree with the above; when it comes to holidays, I do my best to take what I like/need/enjoy/find meaningful and leave the rest.


I totally understand and respect this attitude. The one thing that prevents me from jumping onboard is that "the rest" includes a group of people who are still oppressed. If history was history and everyone was on equal footing now, I don't know that I'd take issue with the holiday. At best, American Indians are romanticized around Thanksgiving. At worst...I don't even know. From 1992-2002, an average of 1 in 10 American Indians was a victim of violent crime- that's more that double the rate for the nation as a whole. The Bureau of Justice Statistics puts out this report (note that these statistics don't include crimes that are left unreported): http://www.justice.gov/otj/pdf/american ... _crime.pdf

In Milwaukee:

Quote:
In or around 1990, the Indian Council of the Elderly, the School Sisters of St. Francis, and the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi (collectively, "ICE") sought to construct a senior center that would consist of 49 apartment units of senior citizen housing and a meal site in southwest Milwaukee for the benefit of American Indian and other senior citizens....At public meetings on January 25, 1994 and March 7, 1994, and at subsequent City Plan Commission and Common Council meetings, numerous local residents expressed statements in opposition to the proposal that revealed that they opposed the approval of ICE's zoning request because they did not want American Indians to reside in the neighborhood near the Howard site.


What the fork? While I realize that people of other oppressed races, sexual orientations, gender identities, and classes experience discrimination and hate crimes to a similar degree, we don't have a national holiday with lore and decor and traditions revolving around these groups.

So, this is my problem. And again, my goal is not to offend or criticize anyone who chooses to celebrate and cherish the positive aspects of the day. I appreciate everyone who has participated in this conversation, especially since it's a sensitive topic. I think it's important to have dialogue on the subject, and it's helpful to hear different perspectives. So, thanks.

torque wrote:
i guess what my ramble is about is: there's proactive stuff to do. If you feel bad about the plight of native peoples, talk to people, explore your thoughts, find out what needs to be done. It might be as simple as influencing other people WRT language or attitudes, or something more involved like volunteering, writing letters to representatives, etc. You know, stuff vegans are supposed to be good at.


I like this. I talked to the people in the American Indian Student Center about Thanksgiving Food Drives. They pointed out that this is a good time of year to advocate and make people aware of social justice issues relating to American Indians, but that people tend to forget about them for the rest of the year. And, hi, I don't go around having discussions about Thanksgiving year-round, so...it made me think about what I could be doing on a regular basis.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:54 am 
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I don't know why I have less of a problem with Thanksgiving than I do Columbus Day. Maybe it's because I always had off for Thanksgiving, but not Columbus so it was easier for me to look at it objectively.

My family never made a big deal of celebrating Thanksgiving. We'd go to a movie and out for Japanese because we all had the day off. If we remembered, we'd go around the table at dinner to say things we're thankful for. We only started doing a "traditional" Thanksgiving after I went vegan and started cooking a huge holiday meal for everyone. I like doing that because it's the only holiday I can share with most of my friends. I'm Jewish, so it's not like we can sit around planning our Easter and Christmas dinners together or compare Passover menus, but we all do Thanksgiving.


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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:28 pm 
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linanil wrote:
SprinkleButt wrote:
linanil wrote:
Also right now I'm reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is really good so far and talks about this subject in general (one society overtaking another, etc). One thing I never thought about was the question was "why weren't there germs in the Americas that wiped out the Europeans that arrive". Would've made for interesting history if there had been. I also think one of my favorite stories is of some of the first explorers to the Americas (not counting the Vikings) encountered cannibals and well they didn't survive.


Jared Diamond is really a terrible academic, and has no business writing on or documenting the subject. He has not been trained as an anthropologist, and doesn't understand the field in the slightest. Please look up the plethora of criticism regarding his work once you are done reading it, please! Also, there were some diseases that we theorize to have been present in the new world which affected Europeans once they arrive, like syphilis!

(This is in no regards a slight to you, I just dislike him very much...)


Well I take whatever I read with a grain of salt :) And syphilis wasn't a germ that would've wiped anyone out, not like smallpox. I wasn't saying (and don't think he was either) that the Americas were disease free.

Of course there were lots of things that colonists faced coming to the Americas that drastically reduced their numbers, at least for the first ones that arrived. It wasn't anything close to what happened to Native americans though.

I saw a documentary once that claimed that syphilis was found in the remains of monks in the British Isles from before the raping and pillaging of the New World. A quick Google led me to an abstract for a book that only briefly mentioned that the New World origins of syphilis were debatable, but I'm too ill to try to dig for anything more concrete.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:43 pm 
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I've spent the past 6 Thanksgivings at work. I am hoping to eat a boatload of potluck food this year.

If Thanksgiving wasn't a four day weekend for a lot of people, it wouldn't be such a big to-do. I would like to see lots of holidays changed up so I can celebrate what I want when I want, but until the banks and po closes there isn't much hope of that taking off. October 3 would be national bran day.

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