Behind the image of warmth, family and food and gratitude, there are many long histories of violence against and oppression of Indigenous People.
This week, across the United States, children especially in schools will wear headdresses made of multicolored feathers and share a meal with classmates wearing black paper hats. It’s a story told every year, passed down through the generations: local Native Americans welcomed the brave and enterprising pilgrims to a celebratory feast.
What is Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving, a holiday celebrated in America on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
It is not only in America that thanksgiving is observed, Canada observes it on the second Monday in October. Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia all celebrate thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is not widely celebrated in the UK but very often Americans who live in the UK, invite British friends and family to join them.
Thanksgiving is a complex day. To some, it’s a time to gather and be with family and celebrate over an elaborate meal. For others, it’s a day to mourn and protest against colonialism and intentional false narratives about the relationship between Indigenous People and the early settlers.
History Behind it
Thanksgiving dates back to 1620, when 102 people left a dock in England on a ship to start new lives in the states.
Upon arrival, these colonists, who became known as the pilgrims, struggled to grow and harvest food.
They were helped by local Native Americans, who taught them how to use the land.
In response, in November 1621, the pilgrims invited the Native American for a big feast as an act of thanks, where they all ate the food, they had grown.
While this joining together marked the first Thanksgiving celebration, relations between the two groups later deteriorated followed by conflicts.
Here are stores that will stay open on Thanksgiving Day in US: