28 Nov 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

All the way from Old Europe, I would like to wish all of my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

I was going to browse through the Martha Stewart website in search of pictorial Thanksgiving inspiration, but I knew that pictures of roasted turkeys would irrevocably turn up and - as a vegetarian - it would be a fallacy and frankly inappropriate for me to post anything to do with dead birds on plates - although ok yeah I was brought up a carnivore (yet beside the point).

Then yesterday inspiration took more resonance after I read Soul Mate Coach Dina Robison's eNewsletter. Her Thanksgiving thoughts and gratitude went to the North American Indians, whose land had been forcibly taken over by those pilgrims, preachers and other settlers from Old Europe. Dina said: "Though a special time to get together with loved ones, it's also a holiday that evokes mixed feelings for conscious individuals due to the real violent history that goes along with it and the collective sadness felt for the loss of the beautiful Native American people and culture."

'Old White Man' (c.1908), by Edward S. Curtis, via The Library of Congress

Europeans had come over to America to start a new life (so did some of my ancestors over a century ago), making way to a self-proclaimed 'New World', a European outpost solidly grounded on the society values of western civilisation, with a slant re-interpretation/ re-adjustment of them and - yes - a strong emphasis upon liberal economy and spirit of enterprise.

Ultimately America - the USA - would set the pace and tone to ROW (Rest of World) as the modern 'civilised' trend-setter and a cultural and/ or business model to aspire to. Talking from experience, the reality - or illusion - of The American Dream still sets pulses racing over in Europe. I too am fascinated by the US - from an artistic and geographic perspective mainly (those huge expanses of landscapes, WOW!).

As a European, Thanksgiving is not part of my culture and I have no intention to cast judgements or upset anyone whatsoever. I just thought though that, like Dina, I would pay tribute to those native Americans who tragically lost out on their own land, history and legacy, so that Europeans could build their Utopia.

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