A Very American Tradition

Thanksgiving Day mainly features gift-giving and a large Thanksgiving dinner, the center-piece of which is the consumption of the turkey carcass.

The first thing that strikes about the place is how cold and quiet it is. For a place with 25 workers, there is hardly any banter, or the usual complaints about pay.

And then you notice the long row. Of turkeys. Dead turkeys. No, make that slaughtered turkeys, with their throats slit, hung upside down, feathers plucked, slowly dripping blood on to a shiny stainless steel row.

These are carcasses that have been through slaughter and are awaiting evisceration. Thanks to a new regulation passed in 2013, they will now move faster through slaughter lines and arrive at supermarkets just in time for Thanksgiving Day, which this year falls on 26 November.

This is the scene across slaughterhouses in America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving—that’s one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year. That’s roughly one turkey for every seven American citizens, killed and consumed in a giant celebration of the arrival of Europeans to the continent.

This particular celebration seems to follow from an older pagan European tradition of celebrating the harvest. However, American history traditionally associates this observance with the arrival of Pilgrims and Puritans in the New England region, notably Plymouth in Massachusetts State in the North East of the United States.

It is hard to correctly trace when the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in the US. Various traditions have it as 1621, 1623 and 1631. In any event, the celebration was established by 1863, when Abraham Lincoln standardized the date across all states.

The first celebrations were for the successful harvests in the New World, helped along, no doubt, by the natives who were cultivating squash and maize for millennia in the same region. Those Native Americans got no thanks, though. By the 18th Century, they had been wiped out from the Eastern region and by the end of the 19th, the remaining few thousands survivors of Columbus’ Discovery had been herded like cattle into reservations, where their descendants live to this day. They have among the lowest rates of human development anywhere in the World.

The modern version of Thanksgiving consists of a holiday on the fourth Thursday of every November. This traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season for the six weeks until the first week of January, when shopping malls see their highest footfalls ever and the liquor industry sees 20 percent of its sales.

In recent decades, increasing leisure time and lack of social cohesion has meant that the celebrations extend beyond the Thursday alone.

Students celebrate the Wednesday before as “Blackout Wednesday”, seen as an occasion for drunken revelry before they head to their parents’ homes for the holiday.

Thanksgiving Day mainly features gift-giving and a large Thanksgiving dinner, the center-piece of which is the consumption of the turkey carcass. The whole carcass, which has been carefully removed of entrails and blood, is stuffed with condiments, bread and then roasted in an oven.

In a patriarchal tradition, the man of the house cuts pieces of the dead bird and serves them to members of the family. At the end of the meal, the diner that gets a specific “wishbone” between the neck and breast of the turkey, breaks it, making a wish mentally.

After this Thursday, Americans mark the Friday as ‘Black Friday’, which is an occasion for people to spend money on buying electronic items and clothes. Shops mark this by opening early, by 6 AM.

We spoke to Randy, who goes to a State college in the Mid-West: “I am not sure I want to go home for Thanksgiving. My mother has divorced my stepfather and I am not sure which of her partners she wishes to celebrate her holiday with. It doesn’t matter, since I don’t like any of them.” He is not sure of his biological father’s identity and the last partner his mother had for more than five years is not inviting him.

Amy from California says she’s “all excited and stuff” about the holiday. Her father will host her and her partner, Jenny, at his home. “Last year, I never made it out of the bed for Thanksgiving. We had a sorority party for Blackout Wednesday and guess what? I really did black out!” This year, her father has promised to take her out shopping on Black Friday.

Back in the slaughterhouse, Jim and Juan, who are manning the evisceration line, are looking forward to Wednesday, when the slaughter will end and they can take a few days’ rest. They have been working extra hours through the last three weeks of November. For every extra hour, they are paid $20, as opposed to the regular $14.

Juan, who insists that we call him Johnny, is a native of Honduras and is reluctant to discuss his immigration status. He has not heard of Thanksgiving before he came to the United States. He says no one in his family likes turkey anyway.

Jim is a member of the African-American minority. Most of them are descendants of African people who were kidnapped and brought to America as slaves. Progress in their lives has been slow, given the crushing burden of oppression and poverty. As recently as 1850s, it was legal to own slaves in various parts of the United States. It was not until the 1960s that African-Americans were allowed to use the same buses, public toilets and classrooms as white Americans.

“The supervisor may let us split one of the turkeys between the two of us. I think the kids would like that.”

  • AnalyseAbhishek

    This article is actually a brilliant spoof on how Western publications (both liberal and conservative) caricature Indian/Eastern cultures and looks at them with a certain lense.

    This article “reverses the gaze” and looks at Western traditions and festivals with exactly the same lense!

    It’s purpose is not really to highlight positives or negatives of Thanksgiving, which is taken merely as a well known subject.

  • daibon Ten



  • daibon Ten


    The Best piece I have read in a long time… GUYS we need more of this.

    IF you are wondering whey the Indian Presstitutes suck so much..because the best and the brightest of India do go into journalism..the losers of India have monopolized the Indian press.

  • Pingback: Thanksgiving. A Very American Tradition | Musings of a Desi Contrarian()

  • Dr. MS

    There are many Americans who have made fun of some Thanksgiving traditions, including the pardoning of the Turkey by the POTUS (who is also the Commander-in-Chief). There are many movies where the kids say thanks like, “Thanks for killing the Native people. Thanks for enslaving Black people. Thanks for bringing Small Pox and Venereal Diseases into the Country. Thanks for the colonialism, imperialism and the violence…etc.”

    There are Americans who practice vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving. Many Indian Americans do. And American Indians (also known as Natives) consider Thanksgiving Day as Mourning Day. They do not celebrate this day, and hold protests, speak about their history of oppression and hold talks on Native American culture. Here is a sample of American humor on America and its traditions. in/search?q=funny+quotes+about+thanksgiving&tbm=

    India Comedian Hari Kondabolu, “I have had Vegan Thanksgiving of tofurkey and soy gravy. And it’s not to say that Thanksgiving will ever justify genocide against Native Americans. But Vegan Thanksgiving? That’s like spitting on the graves man!”

    Lets say Thanks Always to our intellectuals, academics, activists and even comedians who tell the truth, provide us factual knowledge about our history and keep us all informed and accountable (while sometimes making us laugh).


  • George

    So this article contains unsourced “interviews” with: a disaffected bastard son from a broken home; a degenerate materialist lesbian; a criticism of “patriarchal tradition;”and some whinging about meat consumption. Also, I’m from the midwestern US (the ‘heartland’) and I have never heard of Blackout Wednesday.

    I’m much more disgusted by the cultural/moral decay in the US and globalist materialism (black friday) than the average American, but please don’t fool yourselves into believing that this is an accurate portrayal of Middle America or that you are our moral superiors. Before you lecture anyone about illegal immigration of the “crushing burden of oppression” black americans endure, maybe you should figure out a way to have fewer than 600 million people defecating in the street.


    • prashants5 .

      So with just one article about America’s traditions you started pointing to links! Yep the same way George ask your American Media to stop lecturing about India. It is that simple. That is to maintain mutual respect. Everyone has their problem but then it becomes worst when one imposes supremacist on others, “holier than thou” approach. This is what American Media do by publishing thousands of Atrocity Literatures about Other’s Culture, Religion and what not.

      Ask them to focus on America and stop lecturing the world about American Universalism. World is diversified and difference is the beauty. Let them learn aprpeciating it and learning from each other.

      • George

        Sir, I absolutely agree with you, except on one point: rather than asking the American media to focus on America, I’d rather ask them to retire altogether and spare everyone their nonsense.

    • daibon Ten
  • desi_mangoman

    It will not be long before the independence day in India will be shifted from August 15th to July 4th to coincide with independence day of US…it will happen in our lifetime 🙂

    • prashants5 .

      I was about say that…Haha..Very good one!

  • कृ

    The destruction was probably much more painful in South America, which had a more advanced settlement. Of course, no one cries until one is dead.

  • Melanie

    As an American, I’d never heard of Blackout Wednesday, and I had no idea so much alcohol was consumed. Families I know do not involve alcohol or shopping… to most, it is a holiday that is about being thankful for family, friends, prayers, preparing food togehter and blessings. Not everyone consumes Turkey. I can feel your angst though! You do a good job of focusing on what you view as a negative, and fully ignoring the things festivals and celebrations around the world have in common. It’s great to keep people separated, ignorant and biased against other cultures.

    • guest

      Its not viewing anything as negative. If you come to this forum–then you would know what this is about–its about reversing the gaze. Remember Indiana Jones-Temple of Doom? This article has more truth or truth related things in it than did that movie…

    • कृ

      Hmm. That’s rich coming from an American, addressing a crowd which is completely aware of the non-sense coming out from NyT, Wpost & the lot. We were recently told that ‘Hindus’ are equv. to Taliban and hence must be brutally put down; this from a Lefty paper from her Queens backside. We were then told by another that the British did us a ‘favour’ by brutally ‘civilizing’ us, a job they took over from the Islamic genocide mongers of the time. Your schools continue to churn out and teach colonial era Hinduphobia.

      Please don’t give us the usual platitudes. We have more in common with the other Indians than you imagine.

      • Melanie

        So you and I actually are on the same page here in more ways than one… if you read what we are both saying, we both find it gross that people are spreading false information about our culture in order to separate people and entice fear… how can you know how it feels for false information to be spread, yet want to do it to others?
        I spend most of my time defending India… I need to start expecting the same respect in return. Thats waht equality looks like.
        Just because I am white you think that somehow some comments from an uneducated person reflect my views? What does the Queen have to do with anything? You do realize America and India both fought Britain for the same reason, right? We’ve just been free from them a bit longer than you have.
        You seem to be opposing ignorant bigotry, then you go right in and use it as a reason to do the same.
        Don’t be so sure what everyone thinks about the British in India… my ancestors lived in Hyderabad, made good friends with their indian counter parts, loved the culture and were sad to leave. Stop making assumptions… it hides your intelligence.

        • कृ

          India did not ‘fight the queen’, not really; a bunch of people got hold of the reigns of the Colony once the British went bankrupt post WWII, little else. The newspapers in question are based in U.K; I was only alluding to this.

          America’s role in history is tricky for me to place; sure they fought the British, but this is hardly the same thing as the civilizational confrontation, that people on @IndiaFacts perceive. I don’t think Charles Dickens called for ‘eliminating the American race’ (if there is such a thing); nor were you subject to having your economy ruined, your people starved, your culture misappropriated (remember the Swastika ?), even as you were looted to fund a Imperial war in Europe. Arguably much of the blame ought to be on our ancestors who seem to lacked any sense of introspection.

          Let’s come to today. Due to a wide range of Historic reasons, India has been ruled by a Linguistic class which speaks in this language I write to you in. For inevitable reasons, this is a class which cares far more about alien cultures, than that of India. They are, hence, either by consent, or not, under the influence of the major centre of the said culture, which today happens to be the US.

          Unlike Europe, you’ll not find a single university teaching anything in any of India’s variegated languages; this in a state which calls itself ‘Socialist’. It’s laws, it’s education are only open for those who speak this foreign language (who form < 5% of the population). There is enough circumstantial evidence to show that India has been a colony under this class.

          I'm sorry for perceptions of 'counter-racism', but I don't think race really matters much. I think cultural perceptions are far more powerful; the West is mostly informed by the aforementioned class of Indians, perhaps with the subconscious hopes of keeping the ecosystem alive. That said, I think America is far less a Hinduphobic state than India. I'm not sure if that is a compliment in as much a reflection of the tragedy of India. Cut off the tongues of the populace, and you stop feeding their brains. Thus came Europe's feudalism came to India.

          I also don't think NyT & co satisfy the predicate of being 'uneducated'; indeed the less 'knowledgeable' (i.e fed on colonial propaganda) they are, the nicer they appear to be (modulo some occasional slips). Indeed, for this very reason, perhaps, Americans are often less annoying than the 'know-it-alls' from EU (something Israelis also seem to concur with).

          You'll forgive me if there was a sense of 'bigotry' in my statements, but there really is no equality in India.

          America shouldn't be burdened by its past savagery; indeed their people are wonderful. However, I think the point being made here is that when you celebrate your ancestors, you inherit their sins as well. That the latter is rapidly changing is perhaps a vindication of the greater conscience (something I can't always say of India).

          However, I think articles from @IndiaFacts and others are governed not by Americans per se, but by its Media agencies and Academics. The latter are almost inevitably for the continuation of the colony. And it is a colony, even if you consider only the linguistic aspect, and keep cultural issues aside.

      • CD

        Are you kidding me?? Our schools are not putting out any colonial Hinduphobia. I would know, I went to them.

        • कृ


          If you “don’t know”, you’re either blind or have no idea how things are on the ground.

          • CD

            I’m just telling you my experience as an American, and my experience in the school system, and I have never heard any of that.

          • कृ

            I understand, but this is not your experience we’re debating. This is the recorded experience of the diaspora.

            You must also realize, that far more blame is being attributed in such discourse to the Indian state than the American one (and thus its citizenry by extension). I doubt anyone here thinks of typical Americans as ‘racists or assholes’.

          • prashants5 .

            You perhaps new to this. Do you know the Atrocity Literatures that get published in American Media on Hinudism and Indians in general ( funded by Missionaries and their proxies) almost like every day? I don’t think you have even read any such. In contrast do you find Hindus ( and their proxies or whatever) publishing any Atrocity literature about Christianity or Islam or even Americans. I don’t think you will find such. So what gives you the impression that Indians do hate American. It is rather otherwise. The Racial attacks in American against Indians at rise ( though numbers are not very big).

            All I can urge you to read “Invading the Sacred” Book by Rajiv Malhotra about what is going on Amecian Media on Indology and Hinduism. And what is they teach about Hinduism in Schools in USA when they study World Religion ( I am concerned about Hinduism ). The curriculum is official and not necesssary every school teaches the same. But most do the same.

          • CD

            Yes I am new to this. The first time I heard any of this was on twitter a few months ago. It is the first time I ever heard the term Atrocity Literature. But what American media are you referring to? Because I have never heard or seen any of this. Unless you are referring to Fox news, which are mostly Christian right, but I never watch it. I only went to a year and a half of college. I guess I missed it. I also live in Los Angeles, which is a very progressive city, so I really don’t see the racism you are referring to. And most people here do not read right wing publications or watch right wing media. But I am very interested in reading the book you mentioned.

          • prashants5 .

            “..India, once a major civilizational and economic power that suffered centuries of decline, is now newly resurgent in business, geopolitics and culture. However, a powerful counterforce within the American Academy is systematically undermining core icons and ideals of Indic Culture and thought. For instance, scholars of this counterforce have disparaged the Bhagavad Gita as “a dishonest book”; declared Ganesha’s trunk a “limp phallus”; classified Devi as the “mother with a penis” and Shiva as “a notorious womanizer” who incites violence in India; pronounced Sri Ramakrishna a pedophile who sexually molested the young Swami Vivekananda; condemned Indian mothers as being less loving of their children than white women; and interpreted the bindi as a drop of menstrual fluid and the “ha” in sacred mantras as a woman’s sound during orgasm…”


            Yes. Go through it.

        • Barbaric Opinion

          Then why was Aryan Invasion theory taught in US schools?

          • CD

            It wasn’t taught in any of the schools I went to.

          • Barbaric Opinion

            Its like saying “My neighbourhood didnt witness any shootings,so my country is completely crime-free”.

          • CD

            No, it’s saying I have never, ever heard of that, and I have lived here my whole life.

          • CD

            The reality is, people in India HATE Americans so much, that you can’t even wrap your brain around the fact that not everyone here is evil.

          • Barbaric Opinion

            If we really hated US as much as you say,why are Indians flocking to the US in big numbers?
            Hindus dont hate any country much less the US.We hate the Christian right in the US which demeans every aspect of Indian/Hindu society and the flawed narratives US academia creates to advance Christian interests in India.

          • CD

            Ok, that’s good to hear. I don’t know why so many Indians are coming here. The Christian Right demeans every aspect of people’s lives here that are black, Hispanic, gay, etc. They are like a cancer.

          • Barbaric Opinion

            And who gave you the idea that Indians hate US?There will always be that entrenched lobby which advices your President only about all the irrelevant things that happen in India and he will conveniently help a terrorist country like Pak in their endeavour to attack India constantly but will teach an ancient society like India about tolerance and harmony.And Indians too stopped caring.
            This will never change and the Christian right is too powerful in the US to be countered by India.

          • CD

            I have seen negative posts on Twitter from Indians, about the US. It just seems like so many of them hate the US. I am not as educated and well informed as you are, but I get the overall point. Like I said, the Christian right is like a cancer here. They are hideous.

          • Barbaric Opinion

            Well,India has 1.25 billion population.And Twitter is not the right platform to gauge the mood of Indians.
            Secondly,only people Indians/Hindus genuinely hate are the Pakis.US normally being a rich country doesnt care about a middle-income country like India’s sensibilities and wont take India’s interests seriously.For a rich and powerful country like the US,not many US policymakers are really sharp in understanding the importance of India in the future.And like what they did in Latin America and Africa,they feel only Evangelisation is the right way to further US’s interests in India.Most donations for these Evangelical organisations come from US who spread vicious hatred for Hindus in our own country using democracy as a ruse.And when Hindus question them,they put “Christians in danger” narrative across using their connections in the media.This is what fuels anti-US hatred among Indians/Hindus.

          • कृ

            Is it really hatred though ? I think it is a welcome move away from the deification that the Indian education system promotes, to healthy scepticism.

            Hate seems like a strange thing in India. Given the colonial education system, people seem to have a hard time expressing their views; for instance, we can simultaneously dislike Muslim invasions and consequent genocide (and it contemporary forms), yet like people like Abdul Kalam & A R Rahman without qualification.

          • Barbaric Opinion

            What deification are you talking about?Examples?

          • कृ

            I meant the deification of everything occidental, as promoted by the Nehruvian state.

          • Barbaric Opinion

            This thing of saying that Nehru promoted ‘secularism’ is not right.When I was at my school,we used to have non-detailed textbooks of Mahabharata and reference books on epics.And in the mother tongue,we used to have poems on Parijata-apaharanam and other Hindu traditions.
            Its the National Integration council of Indira Gandhi which brought massive changes in the syllabus.
            Nehru did some mischief but it was mainly Indira Gandhi who has coordinated with the state govts to completely ‘secularise’ everything.

          • कृ

            Perhaps not, but he did deify everything occidental. I don’t think there is anything he did for reviving the Indic civilization.

          • VLR

            Indira wife of Feroze Jahangir, shouldn’t be surprising.

          • CD

            I just recently found out about the evangelists in India, I had no idea that was going on! How awful! And you have a good point about twitter not being a good gauge of the how Indians feel lol! Thanks for all the info, I’m falling asleep so I have to go to bed. : )

          • कृ

            Hmm. I’m doubt people “hate” the US.

            There are multiple layers of the US system. One of the biggest issues being the entrenched academic disposition which is often hell-bent on denying the experience of Indians (being as they are completely intolerant to such voices). There is a good point to be made that this is the fault of the Indian state, and I’d completely agree.

            The Christian penchant for ‘Harvesting’ countries is extremely offensive. There seems to be little regret for destroying cultures in the US. This is likely the result of a rationalization, or lack of awareness due to media blackouts. These folk receive the help from the American left as well.

            The role of American media in influencing Indian politics is extremely murky. I doubt I know enough to write about this.

            These are not exactly things that a common American can influence.

          • CD

            The Christian harvesting is very offensive to me too, and to lots of other Americans, and there are a lot of us who feel deeply ashamed and saddened about what the US has done to other countries.

          • CD

            Also, this article seems to bash all Americans, forgetting that there are a lot that don’t eat meat, or go shopping on Black Friday, etc.

          • कृ

            The generalizations here fade in comparison to what Wpost and NyT write about Hindus (yes, derision is reserved for this group alone).

          • Melanie

            that too was my main issue about this article… it’s terribly misleading and does not reflect the holiday for anyone I know. From my understanding and experience, there is already Pongal and other harvest festivals, no need for this one, too.
            If it were a religious holiday that is different… example; I do a small Diwali with my kids and friends every year (kids have to research and teach some things) so they can learn and better understand how others think… I think it would be equally ok for hindu families to let their kids learn that Christmas is about the birth of Christ.

          • Melanie

            A lot of Indians coming here are Christians… especially TN and AP. Most of the Chrisitans I know don’t any indian chrsitians who actually believe this way (the way you stated above). Oddly enough, a lot of my hindu friends who have immigrated echo the outspoken, racist right wing voices in america. Obviously not everyone fall into this category, but it’s the outspoken ones who we tend to hear,

          • कृ

            Isn’t the left a bigger factor ? I mean the Christian right can only fund stuff, and setup abominations like the Joshua Project. The Left has all the tools for propaganda, in the name of ‘morality’.

          • CD

            Actually it’s the right that is all about morals, and pushing their ideas and agenda on everyone. The left is about people embracing who they are, whether you’re gay, a single parent, in an interracial relationship, etc. The left is about live and let live. The Christian right is about you better do it our way and the way of the bible or else. They go on about Jesus, but won’t feed the homeless, they are anti-abortion, but pro death-penalty, etc. They are a hateful, hypocritical group of people.

          • Melanie

            i think barbaric maybe right in regards to 40 years ago? if you look at history, at some point the right and left in US basically flip-flopped…. I’m not sure why or how, but the right now acts how the left was portrayed in the history books taught in schools many years ago

          • daibon Ten
          • कृ

            Sure, but the right only has covert links with politics; while the left is mainstream. I empathize with the latter, and wish for much of this sensibility to flow to India, but as it often happens with Americans, any such movement usually comes with all sorts of inane and dangerous generalizations.

            Doesn’t the Church feed homeless people in many cities ? They probably could do more if they stop sending billions out of the country for more ‘bountiful harvests’, but that is for Americans to decide. I think the anti-Abortion gang does have a point; but I think the best way of solving this would be greater access to contraceptives. Sadly, the same gang also opposes the latter.

            I don’t think Americans (nor Indian) sociologists have much ability to introspect. You’ll also find that many ‘Hindus’ share many of the same beliefs as conservative Christians, because of this (esp. since there is little support or respect for native traditions).

            This is probably why we still have ridiculous ‘Sodomy laws’ from the Victorian era, while Mahabharatha has Shikandi is one of the central characters in the Kurukshetra. This is probably why in some Marriage traditions, one seeks the blessing from the Transgender community is a thing. I’m fairly sure, you’d not have heard of the latter.

            The trouble with the left is that it is on a civilizing mission for the world, it barely understands. It also terms anyone who points out this ignorance as a ‘fascist’. In this way, for someone like me, there is very little difference between the harvesters and the culture-genocide-wallahs (and this includes many people I would otherwise respect… filmmakers, academics, even Fields medalists).

          • CD

            What Melanie said is correct, the right and left did switch at some point. Basically, Democrats and the left are the ones for the people, the environment, minorities, women’s rights, social injustice and issues like the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s not to say there are no corrupt Democrats, but those are the principals of the left. The republicans are mainstream, and Christian and very conservative. They support the conservative laws, and big corporations, they are mostly anti gay, racist, etc. But then there is the Christian right, and they are the Evangelists, and they are extremest.The KKK would fall into that category.

            As for the abortion issue, it is very controversial. The left supports birth control, and sex education in schools, which would reduce the rate of abortions, but the Republicans fight it. They don’t want women to have abortions, but they are against birth control. They are puritans. Everything with them is about morals, and not reality and what is logical.

            And I only learned about the Evangelists going into India and converting people, this past August. It’s horrifying, I’m so sorry that is happening to India : (

          • कृ

            I agree with you; I myself empathize with many of the issues of Left. That’s not my point. The point is when the European/American left transfers their experiences, they do so with the implicit diffidence to native traditions which were neither political nor imperial. Be in no doubt that Victorian thought affects India too; but then India is a headless monster that thinks it is independent. It’s religious institutions can neither think, nor can they spend their money (Hindu institutions were singled out for Govt. control).

            I doubt the same can be said of the US, from where experiences of the enlightenment peddlers are drawn. This is the issue.

            KKK proves my point. They rely, much like the Nazis, on the cultural misappropriation of Indic culture to define their own history. There is academic backing for these notions from many people who consider themselves to be on the left; many of which stand not on fact but on convenience. Sanskrit chairs in Oxbridge have historically been funded so that India could be converted to a Christian country. This is not at all a new development. Those who tweaked ॐ in the form of the Swastika, on British parliament either have no idea about History or have no idea what ‘Irony’ means. Before you think of them as conservative, they were not for their time. They called themselves ‘liberals’ too.

            You must realize that Hinduism is not treated the same way that Islam is (since ‘post-colonial’ state is vary of rekindling the civilization). We share with the Jewry, an oppression by both political religions, for over a millennium. We share with them now, their fate in Rome. It’s very likely that all that is worthy will only survive in a completely lost diaspora.

            Before you trust propagandists (like Doniger who is on the Left), no Hitler was no favourable to Hindus, even if his right hand man apparently was fond of the गीता. Hitler considered Islam the only one worthy one of respect, and that the rule of India by a ‘pure Aryan’ race was a god send. Ditto of Marx; he considered what India’s decentralized life a ‘primitive socialism’ (you know, because anything not from Europe was not ‘enlightened’). S. Bose was mostly used as political tool by Germany & Japan; they weren’t particularly successful.

            Now you see, why we’re alone (and fairly cynical). Given this, I think there is a growing streak of Libertarianism, which is probably far more in line with historical Indic civilization.

          • CD

            You are so intelligent and well informed, that honestly it’s hard for me to completely understand your point. Sorry : (

          • कृ

            I hope that wasn’t sarcasm.

            Consider this. A Lefty organization in the UK recently used Om in place of Swastika on a Hitler-ite caricature of the PM. Now it’s perfectly fine to criticize the PM; many of his policies are quite ridiculous. The usage of the symbolism itself, however, deserves greater analysis.

            Swastika went out of use in Europe over 2000 years ago. Its usage only started in Germany, which used its knowledge of Sanskrit, to create for itself a mythical history. This is where the ‘Aryan’ myth comes from. This is where KKK gets its idealogical basis. ‘Arya’ is only a honorific ending in Sanskrit; it has not the semantics of racism.

            Now let’s consider this situation: a lefty org caricaturing one Hindu symbol in place of another which was misappropriated by Europe over a century back. Irony probably died and went to heaven after dying of laughter.

            This sentiment is not far from mainstream academics in the US. So, no, the global left is not our ‘saviour’; it is a saviour of those who wish upon India, greater genocide.

            The following is an illustration of how we’re treated when we assert our roots,

            This is also not entirely an ‘racist’ undertaking, although its foundations likely were historically. So, no, it’s not even something about fighting ‘White people’, much as you may perceive it viscerally.

          • CD

            No it was not sarcasm at all! I just don’t know my history very well, and you know so much! And it’s all so complicated. I never looked at the left that way, because I have always been part of the left and my mother was a hippy, which is very left lol! But this is the first time I am hearing any of this. I don’t have time right now to read through the links, or process everything you wrote, so I will do that tomorrow and post a comment : )

          • कृ

            Hippy/Animal rights are good. The ‘real Left’ however is that which serves the power.
            That is why being ‘Left’ today is a class marker in the US (even if you end up supporting Plutocracies/Theocracies).

            It’s worse in India. For instance, it’ll be the ‘communists’ & ‘liberals’ who will be the first to block any attempts at indigenizing University education in my country. They only wish for those who speak English, to have skills and the money. Contrary to popular perception, this crowd does not exceed 5-8 % of the population. Everything is about power at the end of the day.

          • CD

            No, you have it wrong. The left in the US is different than the left in India. In fact, people don’t even use that term very often. The real “left” are the hippies, animal activists, environmentalist, people that are into yoga and meditation, etc. And most of us don’t have money lol!

          • कृ

            Sure, but that which you call the “left” have no political power.

            Hell, Obama after his ‘Hope’ propaganda made Middle-east worse; then there was the pipeline issue, and the Arctic drilling issue. His ilk (academics, journos, bureaucrats) are those with power.
            The rest of you are little more than pawns under propaganda.

          • CD

            You’re absolutely correct! The “left” here, meaning the people with the true liberal values, like saving the environment, equal rights for everyone, etc, has no political power. The reality is that the Democrats and Republicans aren’t much different. So when you say politically the Democrats, which is the left, have power, they don’t have any more power than the Republicans, who are the right. Our government is soooooo corrupt. All my friends and my mom were so excited when Obama was elected, and I kept telling them, he’s a politician like all the rest, he’s not going to make much of a difference. The whole “Hope” campaign was a bunch of crap! He may be a good person, but once he or anyone else becomes president, they are part of the corrupt machine, and they are just a puppet. The corporations and Wall street run everything. The politicians are backed by all of the them, and they are all corrupt so it’s all the same.

            Obama does something good, but then he turns around and does something shady. I just read that while he vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline, he was giving the go ahead to drilling in other places. When the gay marriage was finally made legal, everyone was so excited, that they didn’t pay attention to the fact that he signed the TPP which is going to be a nightmare. And he appointed one of Monsanto’s top guys in one of the top positions in the FDA. And Hilary is sooooooo shady! That is so disturbing that she was backing the Christians in India! Yikes! But really, it doesn’t surprise me. I will have to read that article!! Anyway, I could go on and on, but you get the point. Politically the Republicans and Democrats are so intertwined, and equally powerful, and basically different sides of the same coin. The only difference really, is things like gay marriage will get passed when there is a democrat in office, which is great, but the covert wars and corruption will never end.

            And I am very confused about your Noam Chomsky comment, is he not a good guy??

          • कृ

            * Obama is basically following his predecessors’ plan for balkanizing the Middle east.
            * The Gay marriage thing was a Court decision, no ? It was distraction really. The state really should have no say in personal affairs in the first place…
            * The Medicare thing was a sham. Bypassing a broken system by feeding Insurance companies is not exactly wise (populist though I imagine!).

            Chomsky is a brilliant guy, but he is informed by affairs outside the US via the English language. Believing what you’re told, makes fools of us all.

          • कृ

            Fair point. But, one must realize that the people who are in power don’t have the same viewpoint as you do. Of course it’s all done covertly.

            For instance, Hillary Clinton has lent in the past, support to Christian proselytisation in India,
            Obama’s gestures haven’t been much better.

            There are plenty of such covert ‘imperial’ people. Arundhati Roy, often shares the stage with Noam Chomsky. She is a sympathizer of Muslim terrorists in India. These ‘cultural colonials’ often take the support of the larger Left in the US. None of them have any empathy of Indic languages, let alone its culture. Imagine for instance, if in the US, you couldn’t attend university without speaking Latin. This is the reality in India, where 90% have no access. See,


          • Melanie

            not exactly correct, but you are getting towards the right track… keeping thinking and learning… good, good

          • कृ

            What ? Have you been to India ? People practically worship Americans (without qualification).

          • CD

            Really?? I didn’t know that! It just seems like most of the world hates the US, and I actually don’t blame them.

          • कृ

            Hmm. I’d like to think India is different. You should read Dharampal’s works to have any grounding in India,

            The deracine do not promote it because, it affects their rule.

          • Melanie

            I always find it hilarious to be talking to Indians, in India who complain about how American has no culture, all while while wearing levis, polo, rayban, howing me youtube video on iphone, asking for marlboro and drinking american whisky, braggingly complaining about KFC… one day I should make a comedy out of it… american culture is so thick with those trying to climb to status in the metropolitan areas that they don’t even see it’s become quite funny and ironic

          • कृ

            Indeed. You must realize that it is almost *impossible* to climb up in India unless you deracinate yourself and embrace the Anglo-Saxon culture of its elites. People who you meet necessarily pass through this fire test, and hence the result.

          • कृ

            You should read Dharampal’s works to have any grounding in India,

            The deracine do not promote it because, it affects their rule.

          • Melanie

            not at all my experience… but, I can see how it can feel that way. India can be an emotional roller coaster being both the absolute best and the absolute worst place

          • CD

            It’s all propaganda, and you guys are all falling for it.

          • कृ

            I think we’re the ones actually fighting the propaganda. What American people feel, is irrelevant (given how foreign policy works); it is the propaganda mongers who Indians seem to dislike the most.

            Sadly, unlike China, neither do we have State support (hell the Indian state often works for the US!), nor do we have the monetary support. We can’t buy up newspapers like China, we can’t start Universities (because the Indian state forbids Hindus from doing this).

          • CD

            You’re right. I actually meant propaganda on our end, because the media doesn’t portray who a lot of us really are. They make us out to be materialistic assholes to the rest of the world. Even here, they don’t show news stories about what’s really going on. This past year there was a huge march against Monsanto, in cities all over the US. Hundreds of thousands of people marched, and most of the news didn’t even cover it, because Monsanto is such a powerful corporation, and practically owns the government.

            And that is horrible that Hindus can’t start universities! Why would they do that?? : (

          • कृ

            That is our perverted version of ‘secularism’; discrimination is our equality.

          • CD

            In fact, this is the first time I have even heard of it.

          • CD

            Did you grow up in the US and go to school here??

        • chander

          Teaching Hindus are all about caste, caste, and only caste and that caste system was worse than slavery is nothing but Hinduphobia. This too when caste is not a Hindu word at all but a Portugese word and caste system as is present today is a gift of the British to India.

          • CD

            I’ve never seen or heard of anything negative being taught about Hinduism, this is the first I am hearing about it.

      • Melanie

        Sadly, Hindu history are pretty much completely overlooked in our schools … so while you’re completely wrong in your assumption here, some knowledge for our youth might be better than none. I teach it at home as much as possible. Our Hindu friends are also very good at sharing little bits and pieces of their heritage with my kids.

        • कृ

          You can’t be blamed; the Indian state is doing much all that it can to completely destroy whatever heritage we’ve remaining.

          Again, I doubt the US Foreign Policy has nearly the same precedence as compared to the condition of India’s awful colonial state.

    • AnalyseAbhishek

      The purpose of this article is not really to highlight positives or negatives of Thanksgiving. It is actually a spoof on how Western publications (both liberal and conservative) caricature Indian/Eastern cultures and looks at them with a certain lense.
      This article “reverses the gaze” and looks at Western traditions and festivals withexactly the same lense!

  • Slasher

    The good news is that a courageous woman is taking on te established Islam vs. Christianity narrative.

    Tulsi Gabbard, the only Congressperson of the Hindu faith is what I have been propounding here as “the Third Way” – a coalition of Agnostics, Monotheistic, Polytheistic and Spriritual people which completely breaks from the Supremacist “My concept of God is the Only God” theology of Islam and Christianity. My “Third Way” coalition will also include former believers of these Supremacist Theologies as long as they accept that even in a Monotheistic religion it is acceptable to call a Formless, Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God by any name including Allah, Jesus or Ganesha. However, followers of these two violent faiths MUST accept all Belief and Spiritual Systems as equal. If not, they will once again go back to being Muslims and Christians and continue to murder others.

    Without such a Third Way, I see no hope for the remaining 3 billion of us of the Planet’s Humans who reject these 2 violent cults.

    I want all of you to ponder the statements above and give suggestions.

    Currently we are lacking a Third Voice against the complete God Bigotry of Islam and Christianity.

    What do you all think?

    • guest

      The Third voice, the only alternative to the two religions of the book is the dharma—largely via hinduism —comprehensively—in parts via Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Mahivirism etc. Hinduism though is larger than the sum of the smaller ‘parts’ that dharma based.

  • sadhayam

    A very well-written article. Just one little point overlooked. If you are to upstage NYTimes which usually catches hold of a non-Hindu and asks his/her opinion about the topic under discussion – like “what do you think of Diwali, or what do you think of this Indian ( read Hindu ) custom or that Indian tradition”, projecting mostly a negative image. So, what Surendra should have done is to catch hold of an American-Indian from the reservations, or an African-American and pose “NYTimes”-like provocative question(s)…like what do you think of the tradition behind Thanksgiving, etc…..you get my point?

  • Venkataraman Balaji


  • Savarkar’s Disciple

    Is Meat Eating a Matter of Personal Choice? A Scientific Analysis – Dr. Kulshrestha – Full Talk

  • raxxx

    when this tradition comes to India we will require a lot of made in China turkeys. And though the punjus will be the first to start celebrating Thanksgiving in the end they will still be dancing on “Baby doll mein sone di”

  • guest
  • prashants5 .

    A much needed and awaited article studied and interpreted from an Indian’s prospective. Rajiv Malhotra calls it Purva Paksha. That is reversing the gaze. Please write more such articles on other American Traditions.
    Thank you!

    • CD

      A lot of the facts were incorrect, read my comment at the top.

  • Chetan Chauhan

    This article is just brilliant.
    Give back as good as you get.

  • Barbaric Opinion

    Wait until this ‘tradition’ gets imported into India and a holiday season is created and some moronic urban bimbos start wishing each other of a “Happy Thanksgiving” without even knowing what it means.

    • prashants5 .

      Absolutely! And this will once get started in all the Metro cities of India by few Morons, the Western and Pseudo Secular Funded Indian Media will promote it to 2nd tier cities in India as well. After 5 years it will be a reality in India of course. The moronization of Indians is at it’s peak!

      • Barbaric Opinion

        If it is white,it is right—Urban Indian bimbos logic.

        • कृ

          It’s not just India. Ditto in China, Japan.

        • VLR

          yadyadAcharati shreShThastattadevetaro janaH .
          sa yatpramANaM kurute lokastadanuvartate

          “Whatever a great one does, that alone others also do;
          whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows.”

          So it is natural that sometimes such meaningless trends will also continue till USA is economically and militarily superior (at least in perception) to all countries.

          To correct it in India, make India superior economically and militarily.

          • Krispy K

            Indeed. The importance of that cannot be underestimated. That is why India must regain number one position in both those areas.

    • guest

      TOI and other crappy newspapers already report on celebrities having a halloween party


      • Barbaric Opinion

        Deracinated bimbos.

      • daibon Ten

        I totally support Halloween..Christians hate Halloween… We need to encourage Halloween over the celebration of human sacrifice..Easter and Christmas…

        • guest

          Ha, but not really, many of them celebrate it…and really you know christianity is practiced only in name..

    • Harish

      In my brother’s neighborhood in Chennai, they (English medium kids and their parents) celebrate Thanksgiving and even Halloween –trick-or-treat and all that.

      I saw Day Care centers in Bangalore where almost every kid has English as his/her mother tongue.

      • Slasher


        Before this disease called Christianity spreads too quickly in TN and kills the patient, I suggest we all band together and do the following. Otherwise, there is NO HOPE to save India.

        The West and East, in particular, India, must take the lead in creating a CAMPAIGN for the hearts of 3 billion people who are yet to be COERCED and CONVERTED into the two fastest growing DEATH cults in the world: Christianity and Islam. The reason I say this is the following:

        Both Islam and Christianity fit the definition of CULTS perfectly:
        1. Both were started by a charismatic Founder

        2. Both Founders claimed that they heard “voices” from a Formless God who is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent but such a God is MALE (teehee) and can called by only One Name – teehee.

        3. One Founder killed and raped people incessantly and asked his followers to do the same if they did not BELIEVE in this fairy tale. The Other Founder was hijacked by 3rd Century AD “Nicene Creed” power maniacs who ruthlessly killed and tortured people for not believing in this fairy tale.

        If you don’t believe me, then why did we callthe Waco (Texas) guys as CULT leaders and kill them? Why do we still call the Hare Krishna guys as CULTISTS? These Cultists were no different from Christians and Muslims in their CULT definition but the former cults don’t like other latter CULTS and hence murder them in words and deeds. Come to think of what Islam is doing to Yazidis today and Evangelicals are doing to Indians and Chinese.

        I say it is now TIME to create a GLOBAL ORGANIZATION that is bigger than these two Death Cults that UNITES all the NON-BELIEVERS of these 2 CULTS and build a Unique THIRD WAY that is different from Islam and Christianity.

        Here’s how I define THIRD WAY:

        1.All THIRD WAY adherents will be ex-followers of Islam and Christianity but also include Hindus, Buddhists and Pagans or even Agnostics, who will TOTALLY REJECT their Supremacist cultist belief of Islam and
        Christianity’s “My concept of God is the Only God” theology of Islam and Christianity.

        The “Third Way” coalition will automatically include 3 billion people from day one of its founding since it will include all former believers of these Supremacist Theologies as well as people the world over who are
        not yet converted to these two Death Cults, Islam and Christianity.

        2. All THIRD WAY adherents must however accept that it is PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE for all Human Beings to call a Formless, Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God by any name including Buddha or Allah or Jesus or Ganesha or WHATEVER in their language.

        3. However, followers of these two violent faiths MUST accept all Belief and Spiritual Systems as equal in order to become members of THIRD WAY.

        4. All THIRD WAY adherents will also reject all forms of Violence but can stay in their faiths or move to a different faith. However, THEY MUST do proselytizing of their THIRD Way in order to help fellow Muslims and Christians to escape their death Cults.

        5. If any ex-Christian or ex-Muslim will not accept the above principles, they will once again go back to
        being Muslims and Christians and continue to murder others.

        Without such a Third Way, I see no hope for the remaining 3 billion of us of the Planet’s Humans who reject these 2 violent cults. Currently we are lacking a Third Way against the Supremacist Bigotry of Islam and
        Christianity. Can we all join together to create this? It could be a GAME CHANGER.For those who say Hinduism is the THIRD WAY, I would then ask them to read the Article # 4 and if Hindus adopt it, this could be a GAME CHANGER.

        Let me know your opinions by up-voting or down-voting this idea.

      • कृ

        Yup. We’re doomed, with this army of de-racinated dimwits (and they likely will be so); then we’ll have a critical mass of Christian population.

      • guest

        Parents fault!! I have seen that in major cities in India…but I think Parents are at fault…its a result of inferiority complex

    • कृ

      The Irony of Indians celebrating Thanksgiving. Oh my.

  • 0nlyPeace

    Good article…….the Western countries in general and USA in particular have a set definition for tolerance..humanity…freedom…human rights…etc.

    Anybody outside this spectrum is viewed with disdain.

  • southernwonder

    about the only lucky turkey is one that gets pardoned by the u.s. president. which is kind of bizarre when you consider 45 millions of them, as reported here, get slaughtered on that day. the native indian people are not too crazy about celebrating thanksgiving. the story has it that the native indians fed turkey to the hungry and dying european “pilgrims” in freezing weather, who then later, upon recovery, took away the indian people’s america.
    i understand pakistanis also have their thanksgiving for having gotten their pakistan from congressis, and then rs. 55 crores more while waging war on congressi india.

  • sighbaboo

    Fantastic writing!

    • CD

      A lot of what is in this article is incorrect.