Between thankful and mindful

I’ve never been much of a fan of Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving corresponds to Columbus Day in the United States). There are two parts to Thanksgiving: the first is the celebration of the discovery of the land, when we slaughtered, imprisoned and enslaved Aboriginal people claiming property over their land simply because we judged ourselves more civilized than them. The second is a Christian/pagan holiday thanking God for the harvest. I don’t know how many Canadians are still farmers but I can tell you that it does not quite justify the 3 million turkeys consumed each Thanksgiving in Canada alone.

Of course, Thanksgiving has grown into a cultural holiday as well where thank “X” for the food, shelter and loved ones. I don’t mean to deprive anyone from that or to undermine this celebration in any way, but I think that as adults and as educated people, we need to recognize the religious and colonialist background of the “holidays” we celebrate.

With that in mind, I want to say that I am thankful. Thankful that the internet is a place where I can rant freely about the annoyances of the world. Thankful that the annoyances of the world do not in any way overwhelm the beauties and graces of it. Thankful that I have great people to share the world with:  good, bad and ugly as it may be! Thankful that I live a peaceful life where my biggest possible worry is whether I will have enough internet data to watch The Big Bang Theory online.

I know and I am mindful that all of these priviledges have come at a great price for many MANY people and so to the generations of aboriginal people who have suffered under my white priviledged ancestors, I am sorry. I would also like to apologize to all the non-christians who have suffered under my Catholic-supremacist ancestors here in Canada and elsewhere in the world.

For my Muslim brothers and sisters who judge innapropriate for me to celebrate a holiday based on christianity and on colonialism: I am not so sorry. It is our diversity and freedom which makes me so thankful on a day like today to call myself Canadian, so I am not so sorry that even though I am aware and mindful of the religous and colonial roots, I am still proud to celebrate CANADIAN Thanksgiving.


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