Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving: “Un Año en Mexico” Anniversary

It’s Wednesday, November 27, a day before Thanksgiving — Dia de Accion de Gracias — is celebrated in the United States of America. How do we celebrate (if we do) living here in Oaxaca, Mexico — or anywhere else in Mexico for that matter? We get together with friends. Extranjeros united for Turkey Day. But here, it’s called a guajolote, the wild, indigenous turkey that has been domesticated for tenderness, usually topped with mole.

Where will friends be? At potlucks in each other’s homes. In restaurants eating the menu del dia (the daily special). At the sold-out, 60-person bash put on by the Oaxaca Lending Library at a restaurant in the El Rosario neighborhood of Oaxaca. While most of us here, now, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving with family, we find an opportunity to eat turkey and acknowledge the blessings of our lives.

Wild turkey guajolote did not devour the boy Jose Arreola. Give thanks.

Which brings me to my friends, Chris Clark and Ben Dyer, who moved to Ajijic on the shores of Lake Chapala last year from Hillsborough, North Carolina. They lived just a few miles from me over there. Today marks their one-year anniversary living full-time in Mexico. Chris writes a blog, Color in the Streets, about moving to and living in Mexico from a very person point-of-view.

Chris’ most recent blog post, Un Año en Mexico, touched me. It is heartwarming, honest and clear writing that marks the milestone that one year brings of living here. I’ve been here for almost 14 years, and I take a lot for granted. Fresh eyes always help explain why we are here!

Cuni Cuni Guajalote. Yummy Yummy.

So, in the spirit of getting ready for Giving Thanks, I hope you enjoy reading what Chris writes. Happy Thanksgiving! And, oh, let’s give thanks for each and every day. We wake up each morning, and life starts again, refreshed, another opportunity to be all that we hoped to become in the world. (Not about waiting for Black Friday!)

And, the indigenous, Native American experience HERE — National Day of Mourning. Thanksgiving is a celebration of the conquerors! Let’s remember that.

4 responses to “Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving: “Un Año en Mexico” Anniversary

  1. I suppose that there is a masters thesis somewhere about how the US’ TG and the Mexican Día de la Acción de Gracias are related. I wonder if there were traditional harvest festivals and the TG of gringos that were syncretized. Whatever the case, happy D A G or TG, Norma.

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you and Olive, Lew.

      Día de Acción de Gracias is a direct translation for the US Thanksgiving. There is no Mexican equivalent celebration. Not likely thesis material! Mexicans give thanks, it seems, every Sunday and every fiesta day, which happens with rapid frequency. Just as Jews give thanks every Shabbat starting on Friday sunset. It is nice to have a US holiday that asks us to pay speci attention to giving thanks for our lives and it’s bounty. I’ve just read in the Boston Globe, however, that Native Americans suffered for Colonial Thanksgiving. So, we could actually say, Hail to the Conquerors or God Bless Native Americans—indigenous people.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing my thoughts with your audience, Norma. I am happy to be part of this Mexican journey! And grateful for the opportunity to know you & so many of your friends, making it even better! Happy Thanksgiving!

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