Whether you are a Canadian in Oxford or just interested in meeting some, consider attending the Oxford Canadian Society‘s Thanksgiving party on Monday, October 9th. Thanksgiving doesn’t seem to be celebrated on this side of the pond, but in North America it is a tradition of papering over massive injustices perpetuated against the First Nations through the consumption of heaps of food and the propagation of a myth of harmony and cooperation between the original inhabitants of North America and European newcomers. Actually, Wikipedia is telling me that the American and Canadian versions differ significantly:
Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest…
[O]n January 31st, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed…
“A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”
Certainly, I cannot remember anything about pilgrims. Mostly, I remember excessively large amounts of food at the houses of family friends. In particular, I have a craving for mashed yams (though who could guess why?).
The Canadian variant here is apparently to include pumpkin pie, Tim Horton’s doughnuts (which must be flown in), Canadian beer and wine, and hockey re-runs. Getting in will cost you £1, and the party begins at 8:00pm.
PS. I can scarcely suppress my amusement about how the Oxford CanSoc website seems to be modelled on those of the Canadian federal government: from the initial choice of language page to the structure of the menus at the top of most screens. Their composite image of the Radcliffe Camera, St. Mary’s Church, and the CN tower is quite odd.