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Dear Editor: Why hasn’t T&T copied Thanksgiving? Hear me out…

“[…] I’m not ‘ponging’ our copying culture, so much as accepting it and asking a logical question. If we’ve copied America so much, why not copy something that could do us some good as well? 

“The American Thanksgiving holiday is the best public holiday on their national calendars because it has no commercial or religious agendas. It’s just an honoured tradition of bringing family and friends together—regardless of politics, religion, gender, social status—to give thanks for everything good in their lives…”

The following Letter to the Editor on the potential benefits of creating a Trinidad and Tobago Thanksgiving Day was submitted to Wired868 by Peter Gales of goodtalkTnT.com:

Photo: An American family prepares for a turkey meal on Thanksgiving Day.

A national day of Thanksgiving in Trinidad and Tobago is not so far-fetched. After all, Thanksgiving is American, and we’re clearly enthralled with America. 

American accents creep into our speech and music. American brands fill our stores, American films fill our screens, and American fast foods fill our bellies. 

We favour American apples, grapes, and peaches instead of our local fruits like guava, pommecythere, pommerac, etc. Our constables are officers, CVs are resumes, and liming is hanging out. We have American style gangs, and policing, complete with the sound of sirens, and shoot-outs. 

We celebrate Halloween, not even adapted to local folklore, politics and current events. 

So, how have we not copied Thanksgiving? Especially since local businesses, in the ultimate tribute to the American marketing machine, now have Black Friday sales.

Photo: Shoppers fight over sales on ‘Black Friday’ in the United States.
(Copyright UK Daily Mail)

I’m not ‘ponging’ our copying culture, so much as accepting it and asking a logical question. If we’ve copied America so much, why not copy something that could do us some good as well? 

The American Thanksgiving holiday is the best public holiday on their national calendars because it has no commercial or religious agendas. It’s just an honoured tradition of bringing family and friends together—regardless of politics, religion, gender, social status—to give thanks for everything good in their lives. 

Wow! Isn’t that worth copying? Why don’t we do the same here in TnT? 

After all, we could soooo make a better meal!

Imagine what a Trini household would create for a Thanksgiving meal? We wouldn’t be bound to a dry, tasteless turkey. How would we innovate? 

Every family could invent their own Thanksgiving meal tradition, or do something different every year. I salivate just thinking of it.

Photo: What’s Christmas without ham and grog in Trinidad and Tobago?
And what would we come up with for a TnT Thanksgiving?
(via Destinationtnt)

It’s good to be grateful. And as a nation, we desperately need to learn gratitude as a practice to wean us off our habit of constantly blaming, shaming and criticising. 

A national day of Thanksgiving could help us form a new habit, beginning with each of us promising that for one day, just one day, we will do the opposite of what we normally do. On our TnT Thanksgiving, we will actively look for and acknowledge all that is good in our lives, and country; and when we try, we’ll discover how much there is to be grateful for. 

A national day of Thanksgiving would be an answer to the well-worn local phrase that describes how powerless we feel: ‘Wha yuh go do?’

Well, there actually is at least one thing every one of us can do, and that is to give thanks for whatever is working in our lives. 

An interesting thing about life is this: what you pay attention to, grows. In other words, if you fixate on what’s wrong, you’ll get more of the same; and this is clearly what’s happening to us now. 

Photo: A woman self-isolates during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Everyone and everything is incompetent or corrupt. That’s our default position, and we actively seek confirming evidence. 

This feeds national moods of apathy, anger and frustration; it also makes it hard for our good people—even if you believe there are only a few—to even try to do better. 

Let’s stop feeding our attention to our worst demons and instead serve it to our better angels, by acknowledging the good, giving thanks for the good, and encouraging more good to grow in our country. After all, it essentially comes down to a choice. 

And the funny thing is if we did create a national day of Thanksgiving, even if unofficial, we would be using our propensity to copy something foreign to instead appreciate the value of what’s local.

That would be a cute irony, wouldn’t it?

Photo: A family celebrates Thanksgiving Day in USA.

We won’t be so boldfaced to ask for another holiday, but we could change the date every year to fall on the Saturday or Sunday of a long weekends.

What do you say about a Trinidad and Tobago Thanksgiving Day? Take the poll by clicking HERE.

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