Here’s how I get all that’s going on during Thanksgiving and how I as a Dutchman perceive it.
In North America, later the united states, the early colonists gave the original inhabitants hell. Bringing all kinds of nastiness and enforcing their own believe system. Since many of the pioneers were Dutch I claim the right of critical tone here… Anyway, we stole some of their land, killed some of them because they didn’t want to be “educated” and then made them foreigners in their own land. So far I think we all agree on history. But somewhere along the line came a story of sharing food and gaining some understanding, which didn’t stop anyone being all round nasty to the natives in any way BTW.
(pic. A layout of a Dutch (or like a Dutch) slave trader vessel and how to transport as many African slaves as possible)
After a few hundred years people celebrate this whole event by eating turkey, thanking God for stuff and watching American Football and a Parade.
The Netherlands, being responsible for quite a lot of the pioneers has had a lot of things to be proud of in its history. Being responsible for filling a lot of blank space in early seafaring maps, claiming land back from the sea and being a industrial giant internationally while being one of the smallest countries are among them. However being one of the larger slave trader countries, claiming South Africa and instating “Apartheid” (A Dutch word) and being all round nasties all over the globe for quite some time with the VOC (Unites East-Indian Trading Company) are more of the wish-we-hadn’t-done-that category… however…. We don’t celebrate that. Bad time in history no need to celebrate, seems logic right? Which brings me to the part I don’t get, doesn’t having a celebration linked to a part of history you can’t be proud leave a bitter after taste? Or Am I seeing things completely wrong here?
Then there’s the thankful part. I am proud of the things I have achieved in life. Through blood, sweat and tears I have managed to get my life on track and heading in a progressive direction. The job I have, the way I’m raising my son, the house I live in and the relationship I am in, are all things I put effort in, worked for and made sacrifices for. Being thankful implies there’s is someone else to be thankful towards for fixing shit for me… God? I am sorry my dear Christian friends out there, but I don’t buy that and quite frankly neither should you. Ever since we got kicked from Eden we have had to manage on our own, that’s almost the whole point in hits exercise we call life. Everything you have achieved you should be proud of, not thankful for, you did the work, you take the credit.
So celebrating messing with the Injuns, giving the almighty all the creds for all you ever done and heading for a heart attack and high cholesterol by stuffing yourself as well as the turkey to me seems like a weird celebration… explain?
Interesting fact, historically the celebration may very well have been inspired by the Dutch celebration of the Leids Liberation from the Spanjards.