A few years ago – I don’t remember how many precisely – we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving here in South Africa.
We got some cranberry sauce and a porculent looking frozen Canadian turkey. On the way back home on the N1 highway somewhere around the Karl Bremer Hospital, we ran out of petrol and didn’t have a working cell phone. All told, we got home late, everyone was in a tizzy and the turkey was finally roasted for Christmas.
Needless to say we didn’t do Thanksgiving that Thursday many years ago.
So, why an American feast day? We’re in Africa.
So, I say why not? I fancy making food green for St Paddy’s Day and having an Irish tipple.
We watch an otherwise obscure recording of an English comedy skit on New Year’s eve (Dinner for One) and enjoy a good lamb curry when the feeling strikes.
One of my favourite YouTube clips is a collection of rugby tries by Lwazi Mvovo set to ‘Nkalakatha’.
Cultural things are transferrable.
I enjoy many things about American culture, although I also would have enjoyed the 1950s more.
Giving thanks is a very Biblical thing to do, especially in coming out the other side of a crazy year, as the Pilgrims discovered.
102 Mayflower Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts on 11 December 1620, some 400 years ago now. The winter until the autumn of the following year was very rough on them.
Their number was cut by half because of disease and hunger.
At the first Thanksgiving attended by 91 Wampanoag guests (who taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World) were barely more than 50 Pilgrims: 22 men, a mere 4 surviving married women and 27 children and teens.
Like 1620 for the Pilgrims, we all seem to have had a rough year.
We’re still here. Some are barely doing it, but we’re holding on. It’s something for which we can give thanks:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.