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Thanksgiving Day

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Thanksgiving Day
For those who might still be unfamiliar with the celebration of Thanksgiving in the US:
- traditionally it is believed to  originate from the three-day feast held by the Pilgrim settlers and by indigenous Wampanoag Indians, at Plymouth Plantation in 1621, to celebrate the first harvest, after a very difficult year on the American continent.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday, to be observed on every fourth Thursday in November.

Ever since my children have outgrown Christmas, Thanksgiving has been my favorite Holiday. Unlike Christmas, it is a civil, someone might even call it - civic - Holiday. Although clearly intended to give god our thanks for the bounty of a successful harvest, for having kept our job, for having somehow survived another year without a real one or just for having survived, the god we address, while being very recognizable by and accessible to all, does not necessarily have to wear the uniform of any religion. It is a god that, despite the lower case “g” and the unavoidable contradictions implied in a high position job, has been as generous, benevolent and forgiving as we have allowed ourselves to be to others and others to be to us. It is the god that, despite vast cultural and emotional gaps, neither the very religious Pilgrims nor the arguably animistic Wampanoags had any problem addressing and thanking in unison. Surely, however, they were also expressing their gratitude to each other and deservedly allowing themselves to be proud of a year of toil and of a job well done.
In short: both groups were celebrating the god that, by instinct or by faith, they recognized in the “strange” people they had helped or by whom they had been helped. And in themselves.  It is a god to whom even those who do not believe in god can talk and listen.

On Thanksgiving Day, regardless of how unfortunate or unsuccessful we have been, we are all encouraged to recognize whatever we have accomplished on our own, no matter how little, and to express our gratitude for whatever good has been bestowed upon us with the help of those who love us or merely care about us.

On New Year, more o less consciously (depending upon our age), we mark the inevitability of the passing of time by kicking out the old year (with instant regrets and nostalgia) or by throwing ourselves into the new one with drunken abandon, making shallow resolutions and hoping for the best.
But on Thanksgiving we celebrate the past while looking to the future: the crops have been harvested and the seeds are in the storeroom.
Or at least that's what Americans used to do, until credit cards became so popular and until Walmart & Co. started opening their doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. (heck! some of us hadn't even had a taste of Grandma's apple pie yet!)  But I leave that story for another time...

As for myself, the photo shows what I prepared and procured to celebrate my Thanksgiving Day (thanks to Cascina Gilli and to Domenico Selections for making the delicious Barbera Vigna delle More available in the US). As always, it was more food and wine than needed for the number of guests actually sitting at the table, but it would have been way too little to physically share with all the people world-wide with whom, in my heart and with my imagination, I joined hands in a song of gratitude and praise.
To my Family, to those I love and to those by whom I have been loved and helped: close by or far away, if only for a few hours, yesterday we were together. For this and for being alive, I am thankful.

This is Thanksgiving, for me.  
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#4 Commenti

  • Filippo Ronco

    Filippo Ronco

    Mmi piace moltissimo questa cosa. Una festa laica che in un modo o nell'altro riconosce un momento "religioso" (laico) anche per il merito. Per le mete conseguite o per gli sforzi fatti. E' davvero bellissimo, una cosa con la quale andrei molto d'accordo e che mi manca qui nella mia patria dei casini costanti, della corruzione, delle voci alte, delle amicizie di convenienza. E' il saper essere belli che l'America tutta è in grado di insegnare al mondo in una paradossale dicotomia con le sue più assurde contraddizioni.

    Un grande augurio a te e a tutti voi.
    Da vicino-lontano.


    Fil

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  • Gianni M. Lovato

    Gianni M. Lovato

    Fil: da "vicino-lontano" un grazie commosso.

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  • Davide Cocco

    Davide Cocco

    Bello sì, nonno.
    Ma il tacchino ti si è ristretto durante la cottura? :)
    Sani.davide

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  • Gianni M. Lovato

    Gianni M. Lovato

    Davide: Come ben sai, siamo in crisi economico-inflazionaria anche qui.
    Ho comprato un tacchino, ma due giorni dopo era già diventato un pollastrello:-))

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