Thanksgiving in American Culture
The occasion of ‘Thanksgiving’ or the selected ‘Thanksgiving Day’ in American culture is observed on 4th Thursday of every November. It is an annual national tradition observed in the United States since the year 1863. This is an occasion that concentrates on having lots of fun and food. Turkey is considered as the centre stage item in almost every household on America on the Thanksgiving dinner table. This is a season that is celebrated with occasions of giving thanks, vacations, parades, football matches and lots of entertainments.
However, there are many people who do not want to observe this day with the Native Americans as it reminds them of the white European settlers in the land. Being a multicultural nation, occasions like thanks giving is not much preferred by Brook (2002). According to it is all about celebrating conquest and massive genocide led by the European imperialistic powers in Native America. According to his declarations on this day we give thanks to the greedy, glutton invaders and that cannot be actually tolerated as a part of Native American history. Brooks refers to the statement of Lebanese poet, Kahlil Gibran who stated – “it is the honor of the murdered that they are not the murderers”.
There is a strong opposition in Brook and with the help of Lebanese cultural context, he opposes the celebration of thanksgiving as it represents the dominance of European culture over the Native American entity. Followed by this anti-thanksgiving thought is the ideology of Jensen (2005) who declares ‘No Thanks’ on the day of thanks Giving. The purpose of this opposition is related to the historical cause of celebrating the occasion. For Jensen the occasion actually needs “self-reflective collective fasting” to deal with the current frustrating conditions of the Native American. There is a sense of clear opposition led by Jensen about the ‘criminal brutality’ that has been led over the Americans and celebrating the existence of those cultures is actually not a part of American moral and ethical context.The core motive of these declarations is all referred to the European process of colonising America.
The entire motive of thanks giving has been distorted totally by these writers. The actual motive of thanks giving is not to thank those who bro8ght the tradition of thanks giving to America, but to God for the life and the sources to live offered to humanity. These authors are at rage against European culture of celebrating, but at the same time they forget the actual thematic concern of the festival. They concentrate more in the brutal procedures led by the European coloniser in America than the actual idea of celebrating thanksgiving to God and to establish peace and forgiveness in the country. There are different people from different cultures in America, but they all try to be a part of this auspicious occasion. The reason here is not to make the Native American remember the brutalities of European colonisers, but to be a part of a culture that is related to the communal peace and harmony.
Thanksgiving is all about being grateful to whatever has been offered to man by Almighty and to follow the path of peace and forgiveness for eternal bliss. It is a day that encourages friendship and well being of the society and do not indulge in encouraging the activities of the colonisers. The articles against thanksgiving in America have been totally distorted by Brook and Jensen. These authors deliberately try to divert the thematic concern of the occasion towards a more sensitive kind of issue, which will create lots of chaotic controversies in the American society, and especially among the Native American culture.