Thanksgiving Day in Kurdistan and America
Turkey’s meat, living together, having family on one table
political tradition for the U.S president to pardon a turkey on this day in the White House in the presence of the media. Tens of millions of turkeys are eaten on this day along with fruit, vegetables, yellow pumpkin and potatoes.
Although the celebration is new to Kurdistan, with Americans in Kurdistan and Kurds in the U.S celebrating the feast for just a few years, a beautiful party was held this year in Erbil. It was a lovely day and a fine dinner was served up by the Kurdish-America diaspora in a heartfelt ges- ture of giving thanks.
At this point, we should mention the AmericaKurdistan Friendship Association (AKFA), which has been celebrating this holiday for several years, gathering everyone together in a happy, friendly manner and preparing banquets like this one.
The banquet started with some brief but meaningful speeches. Harry Schute was first up as a member of the AKFA board. He presented a brief history of this day and its celebration by Americans. The holiday has its roots in the tough conditions encountered by the first Europeans in America—conditions which led to dozens facing famine and death. To commemorate this serious day, every American family hosts a feast on this day with turkey meat, eating, drinking and togetherness.
Later, the head of the KRG Foreign Relations Department, Falah Mustafa, gave a speech about American-Kurdish relations. He hoped that along with developing bilateral relations, this holidays will continue to be a happy one for all concerned.
Then the American Consul in Erbil gave a speech stressing the plans to develop relations and serve both cultures.
Several schools in Kurdistan take an interest in Thanksgiving Day, and the School of the Medes is one of them, with the school throwing a party for its students.
That this day was celebrated in Erbil this year indicates that Kurdistan is keeping its doors open to every tradition and culture; the Kurdish capital truly has become a home- land for other nations. This is an indication of the progress Kurdish society has witnessed, because as we know, openness to other cultures always starts like this. Which is why the night of November 26, 2013 was so beautiful, multicolored and meaningful.
This diversity brought Kurdistan and America closer together, because it showed that we were all one family attending one banquet in a spirit of togetherness.