Caribbean: Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving may be a traditionally North American holiday – but more and more, the Caribbean seems to be taking notice. Whether it has to do with the large Caribbean communities transplanted in North American cities, the smaller community of North Americans who make their home across the Caribbean archipelago, or the fact that saying “thank you” just seems to be a great reason for a holiday, many regional bloggers have been paying a warm West Indian tribute to Thanksgiving…

Bryan Morris
, a blogger from Aruba, admits that Thanksgiving “is not such a big celebration here”, but goes on to make the point that…

Tourism is by far the biggest industry here on Aruba and the Americans (Thank You!) make up the largest percentage of tourists…so thanksgiving is still celebrated to some extent.

On the other hand, Puerto Rico, which is a US territory, does celebrate the holiday – and Dondequiera takes the opportunity to list a few things he thinks his fellow Puerto-Ricans should be thankful for:

Give thanks that you live in a place with wonderful weather year round, with sandy beaches, blue water, and tropical breezes. It makes the rest bearable.

Give thanks that you live in a place where we have a “real” vote, the right to disagree with the Government, and to practice any religion (or not to practice) we see fit. Far too many people in the World have none of these rights.

Babalu Blog is convinced that “Thanksgivings are perhaps the truest proof of our Cuban-Americaness:

On the fourth Thursday of every November we have on our tables what we, as Cuban-Americans (or Americans of Cuban descent if you prefer), have in our daily lives: the best of both worlds.

Pwoje Espwa – Hope in Haiti writes:

It may sound a little strange to you all as you are gathered with family and friends on this Thanksgiving Day to hear that today is just another day here in southern Haiti. No parades, no televised football games, no huge table brimming with scrumptious food and turkey. That’s not to say that we are not grateful.

Belize-y Livin’ believes she has “so much to be thankful for”, and although the occasion is not a public holiday in Barbados, My Barbados Blog says:

We are counting our blessings, taking a much deserved holiday break, and will be back blogging on Monday.

Jamaican blogger Geoffrey Philp pens a Thanksgiving Poem, while Now Is Wow‘s “Thanksgiving” was celebrated soon after the Trinidad and Tobago elections:

I went to the COP Thanksgiving rally at Helping Hands grounds in the Pasea area. It wasn't a jump and wave rally. It was an interfaith event, with various spiritual leaders (Muslim, Hindu, Christian, etc.) each saying a prayer and a few words…I was not moved to feel patriotic about T & T…but I was touched by the genuine sense of togetherness and respect of the people and by the sense of gratitude and determination emitted by those on stage. It was a peaceful, communal, ‘old time feel’ of an evening.

This perhaps lends even greater credence to the words of Dondequiera:

Give thanks to people who exhibit little acts of kindness. It has an interesting effect of rippling throughout society.


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