The pre-Thanksgiving lunch was well attended. We had all the traditional dishes including turkey, two types of cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato hash and casserole and more. Several members who were not familiar with the tradition brought tasty specialties from their own countries.
After lunch, we started the program with Brigitte giving a welcoming introduction. Then Lalitha introduced the speakers Mary Louise and Joyce. The topic was the Thanksgiving Tradition which is celebrated in both the US and Canada.
We learned from Mary Louise that in Canada Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Monday in October. It is more about celebrating the harvest season and it is not as big a holiday as it is in the US. Many Canadians spend the holiday in their lakeside cottages. A favorite activity is skeet shooting.
Then Joyce spoke about the Thanksgiving in the US. She gave a very interesting account of the history and the meaning of the Thanksgiving traditions in the US, where it is a 4-day holiday in November. We learned that it originated in the Autumn of 1621 when Plymouth governor William Bradford invited neighbouring Indians to join the Pilgrims for a three-day festival of recreation and feasting in gratitude for the bounty of the season.
Many of us heard for the first time that some families serve turducken instead of turkey for Thanksgiving. This is a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed into a de-boned turkey, hence turducken: turkey, duck, and chicken or hen.
We concluded by discussing our next Cultural Meeting in January 2012. As usual, we’ll be meeting upstairs in the Hunneman Room, at the Brookline Library. The theme will be Christmas, Hanukkah and/or New Year celebrations from around the world. We have already:
POLAND: Anna and Danuca will talk about Christmas traditions in Poland.
SPAIN: Maria will talk about how Christmas is celebrated in Spain and the tradition of King’s Day. Robin, who lived in Madrid, Spain for two years, will tell us about her personal experience and impressions of the festivities in Spain.
US/ISRAEL: Elaine will talk about Hanukkah and its traditions.
CHINA: Diana and Doris will describe the Chinese New Year festivities.
Submitted by Lalitha R.