Is an Australian Thanksgiving a Fair Dinkum idea?
Australians often roll their eyes at the things Americans do.
To many of us, their customs can range from kitch to kwaint to kweer.
Think of their parades and proms. Their totally unrealistic, puritan expectations of their politicians. Their Christian zeal is often too hypocritical. Their heart-on-the-sleeve emotional openness contrasts to their xenophobic attitudes that sees only 15% with a passport and many of them holidaying ‘overseas’ in Hawaii. Anyone up for an overseas trip to Tasmania?
Even one of their Presidents was amazed that there were more than 45 other countries in the world along with the U.S. of A. (Incidentally, there are roughly 196 different sovereign states give or take a few political inconsistencies).
I also think that the Australian adoption of some US traditions such as Halloween, Black Friday and Cyber-Monday is just a money grab and we should have our own equivalents, not steal theirs.
How about Ned Kelly Day when we acknowledge the Irish plot for the State of Victoria to secede from the colony? We could all appreciate for our right to stand up for what we think is fair.
Or Pemulwuy Day when we recognize the struggles of Aborigines against the ship of fools who lead the colonization of their Lands and the genocide that followed. The positive side is the appreciation of their ability to survive the White onslaught is a symbol of our contemporary struggle to face huge odds from corrupt politicians (is that an oxymoron?) and financial moguls to environmental catastrophe and global change.
However, the celebration of Thanksgiving is something that all cultures could do well to adopt. Not for the specific details of the American holiday nor for the way they have also commercialized the occasion (thanks for knowing me – here’s a deal on my …….. [insert product or service here]) and then spam the hell out of it).
I mean, the fact that but for our ancestors, family, friends and neighbours, none of us would be here today.
Sure. Life can always be better. Hugh Hefner of the Playboy magazine empire said it well when asked what he wanted in life when he already had wealth, young women around him and success in his pocket and he said “more”.
Thanksgiving acknowledges the opportunities we have, the positive outlook we should embrace and the benefit to be gained by our gratitude to those around us.
I thank the readers of my blog. Thanks to those chefs and foodies, manufacturers and marketers who have supported my vision of an authentic Australian food culture based on this country’s wild foods by being my customers.
I thank the Aboriginal custodians of this Land. It was through their culture that they preserved the amazing biodiversity of plants over 60,000 years so that I could help commercialize the current range of my selection of them.
I am also grateful that I live in this amazing country with its store of nutritionally dense super foods and delicious delicables.
For what are you grateful? Add your comments if you wish.