Passing one of the many churches in Salt Lake City on the way home last night I noticed that there is going to be a special Thanksgiving service tomorrow. While I can understand the desire of the church to get into the spirit of the day by having a a service that promotes the thankfulness for the generosity of all mankind I have been somewhat surprised that there seems to be a distinct lack of any sort of community based event that thanks the Native American population directly.
While I have been humbled by the thought of strangers inviting us over for Thanksgiving dinner, because they thought that my wife and I might not have anyone to celebrate it with this year, it has also surprised me the number of other people who have asked if I celebrate Thanksgiving back home. We don't. Perhaps the closest thing we have to it is around harvest time when the primary schools and churches organise a collection of food for the elderly. I'm not even sure if the schools still do that now, but I do remember collecting spare tins of food from the cupboard and vegetables from the garden between the ages of 5 and 11 and then distributing it around the community. It was fun but nothing like Thanksgiving here.
I find it all the more surprising that there is isn't some sort of public show of gratitude towards the Native Americans here in Utah probably because one thing I have noticed since moving here is how much Utah does to celebrate other cultures. Throughout the year there seems to be event celebrating cultures from all around the world. I would have thought Thanksgiving would have been the perfect time to have a very public celebration of the Native American population and the early pilgrims to this country.
But alas, as of yet I see no sign of such a celebration.
Still i'm looking forward to Thanksgiving at the sister-in-laws house.
Sometimes I forget just how much my life has changed in one year.