Instead this day will be another day of thanking an all-mightier power for all that my family and I have been blessed with. And acknowledging the struggles/obstacles that each one of us have gone through and OUR ancestors have gone through, so we could be where we are today. It is a day of reflection – a day in which many have a pre-concieved notion honoring pilgrims and idolizing a capitalized image of an American Thanksgiving.
In school, we cut out turkeys and read a few paragraphs in our textbooks on how the pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower; met with this country’s Native’s and as they founded a friendship, they sat together and ate in harmony. Its a nice fairy tale the academic system likes to brainwash us with as children but as an adult, growing up in a “non-American” household, daughter of Latino immigrants you learn to accept reality in your life very early in life. Our school textbooks did not touch upon biological plagues colonists brought to Natives or violence that was inflicted upon them resulting in a mass genocide and segregation of Native Americans in this country by these so-called friendly foreigners. Instead, many parents choose a fictitious and fairy tale method of teaching, establishing an invisible blind-fold on their children’s eyes perpetuating a vicious cycle of traditions founded upon lies.
Married with an American man has brought this day in a whole new light this year as we prepare to share Thanksgiving as a family. A new family has been established with two completely different worlds but somehow that is the reason why I have accepted this day but in a different manner. I will not honor this day to give thanks to those so-called happy go lucky pilgrims–whom for most part brought diseases and violence to the Indigenous Natives of this country. In respect to this day, it will be honored as a day of reflection as to the sacrifices my ancestors, throughout my family’s history have made on all levels because if it was not for them, I would not be where I am today. While I’ll be making Candied Sweet Potatoes, my mother in law the stuffing and my mom the turkey — we will be sitting down reflecting and thanking for literally bringing two completely different worlds together and finding an alternate and new ritual to us Giving Thanks…..