Cultures, Turkeys, Memory, And Travel
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., a big family holiday when far-flung relatives gather to feast, watch football and parades, and give thanks for all they have. But not everyone will be celebrating. Here in New England, Native Americans have gathered at noon every Thanksgiving Day since 1970 on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, Mass. — the site of the Pilgrims’ landing — to commemorate a National Day of Mourning.
“Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture,” say the event organizers. “Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.”
Here’s a poignant reminder of how we all tend to see the world from our own cultural viewpoint, and it’s easy to forget that others have a completely different experience. Traveling is one of the best ways to expand that awareness, but we don’t need to go across the planet to do it. Often we can discover other cultures, other viewpoints, other worlds, right in our own back yard.