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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:22 pm 
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In Canada, typically it is a bit of a dress up affair nothing crazy, smart casual, and usually just family. Only lonely co-workers with no family get invited. Turkey is the dominant meat served, but hams or roasts sometimes if no one likes turkey. There are tofu-turkeys for vegetarians :) or they just eat all the side dishes and lots of bread.

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:42 pm 
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wulfir wrote:
Thanksgiving - give me the basics!?

I'm doing it this weekend, bit early I think but seems like Canadians want to get a headstart on that thing.
Do you dress up? Is it familiy only or should you force say co-workers to join in....? Is turkey a must? What would vegetarians eat on Thanksgiving?


I think that Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated earlier than in US. US it's always the last Thursday in Novmber.

Growing up, it was usually a family event.

Turkey was usually the main course but sometimes grandma made goose or duck instead.

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Supposedly, the practice in America traces back to the emergence of "harvest festivals" in the early 16th century in reformist England. According to that page, there are similar harvest festivals or rituals in many societies, and notably the Emtedankfest would seem to derive from a common European tradition.

That wiki pages doesn'' say so, but I'm betting that feasts, rituals and ceremonies of a religious nature were quite common at around harvest time all around Europe and among many Native American peoples too. So in that sense, I don't think North American Thanksgiving is that 'unusual.' The description of Canadians refers to a theory that the first Canadian tradition came from French settlers, so from that I gather that, a few hundred years ago, similar rituals were practiced in various European populations too.

The main unusual about it seems to be that, whereas harvest festivals seem to have largely died out in Europe(?), it has persisted into modern times in North American, and is still widely practiced among White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (even secular folks), if not among other ethnic groups too. I have Jewish and African American friends who practice it; indeed, because it is a national holiday, I would say that everyone takes some advantage of it and is likely to celebrate it to the extent that its precepts are not antithetical to their own worldview. One point of note here is that, a certain whiney segment of the "anti-colonialists" pro-Native radicals argue that Thanksgiving should be "abolished" in the U.S. because it is in fact a 'celebration of a genocide.' Bit over the top I think.

The other unique thing about it is that it involves a strange mixture of European customs with New World foods. Turkey, cranberries, and pumpkins are all New World crops which would still have been very rare if not nearly unknown in Europe at the time the first Thanksgivings were celebrated in the Massachusetts colony. I was under the impression that it was a more thorough syncretism of Native American and European traditions and rituals but I'm not seeing anything saying so, so that might be a 'revisionist' fantasy dreamed up to leverage the holiday either to give Native advocacy groups leverage and or to highlight this "Celebration of Genocide" grievance.

The turkey is a good game bird, they are fairly stupid and I think a capable hunter can bag a lot of them. Even today a lot of hunters go after them; I make a habit of ALWAYS wearing hunters orange when I go out in the woods this time of year, and indeed right up to about Christmas, as there are various game seasons open in various parts of the country through the fall and early winter.

I think they are relatively easier to hunt because of how stupid they are. Not more than a month ago, I was filling up my gasoline at the station just a half-mile up the rural highway from my place. I heard something and looked over to my southwest. There were three adult turkey hens grazing on the grass _RIGHT_next to the highway. Cars were going past at about one more two or three minutes, and it didn't really seem to phase them much; they would turn and prepare to flee but as the car passed they'd go back to eating. The meat can be rather bland and if not cooked properly chewy and dry. But a well cooked and properly spiced turkey is quite good IMO.

I have heard that, the Turkey was proposed to be the U.S. national bird, but somebody suggested the Eagle had more sex appeal :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Anthropoid wrote:
I have heard that, the Turkey was proposed to be the U.S. national bird, but somebody suggested the Eagle had more sex appeal :mrgreen:


:D


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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:04 pm 
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It doesn't seem like a big deal to sit down for dinner, but it really is. Everyone in ur fambly w/ a specialty dish cooks it up and u sit down to a feast. I don't eat the day before just to save stomach room. It sucks getting too full when there's at least a few dozen more spoonfulls of prime eating to be had.

Mostly it's fambly but coworkers or buds who don't have fambly get invited over. An abundance of food w/ leftovers.

It's different for every fambly. For mine it's a time to thank God for the blessings that flow from Him. "God, you've blessed us more than we can contain. Our cups are filled and overflowing." dealio. Also it's a time to sit at the table w/ ppl you have arguments w/, and bury the hatchet for a little while. Thanksgiving is a special day.

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:34 am 
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Canadians usually skin an adorable woodland creature alive and set their elderly relatives adrift on ice floes. Americans usually have family members come in from wherever they've moved to for a get together.

Turkey is popular because it's good and it's cheap. You can usually find a turkey for less than 50 cents a pound. It's much
more expensive the rest of the year. Peasant food is the order of the day. Homemade stuff people could make without microwaves and such. Think 19th century style iron skillet and dutch oven cuisine. no costumes required, but you don't come to the table in a tank top and flip flops. Dress like an adult from a civilized western country. there's usually separate tables for adults and rug rats so adults don't get grossed out by slobbering brats.

And oh, yeah, usually no alcohol. Many a thanksgiving has been ruined by drunk relatives who like to slap the women and children around. Showing up at Thanksgiving dinner drunk will get your ass kicked in most American families.

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Canadians celebrate the holiday differently. Usually the children wear blindfolds and form a circle around a harp seal. They take turns swinging until someone lands a lucky blow and kills the defenseless critter. The child's cheeks are smeared with the blood of the seal, and they have the honor of carving and serving it to the assembled guests. Some families cook it first (the seal), but that is not traditional.

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:14 am 
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Celebrated my first Thanksgiving!

Ended up eating chicken instead of turkey - she did not like the turkey at the store, supposeldy chicken is an ok substitute (might be a Canadian thing). :D


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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:20 am 
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wulfir wrote:
Celebrated my first Thanksgiving!

Ended up eating chicken instead of turkey - she did not like the turkey at the store, supposeldy chicken is an ok substitute (might be a Canadian thing). :D


Hope it turned out well.

Never heard of chicken being the main course, but as you indicated, that might be a Canadian thing.

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 Post subject: Re: American Diversity
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:12 am 
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I thought thanksgiving was only a US holiday to celebrate how much better we are than everyone else.

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