Happy Thanksgiving, American friends & Happy End of November, everybody else.
This greeting has nothing to do with corn husks, if you're wondering. "Husk" - pronounced hoosk - is Danish for "remember" & "Husk Thanksgiving" appeared Saturday in the ad paper from a supermarket that's a national chain.
Husk Thanksgiving - what's that all about, forcryingoutloud? Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays & the only Danes who have even an inkling of what it is are the ones who watch American football. Or have seen a film such as 'Pieces of April'. Or who know an ex-pat, such as me. I've probably explained Thanksgiving 50 times to various friends & colleagues & every other American ex-pat I know has done the same. Often as not it ends with a comment from one or the other about how the Indians - oops, I mean Native Americans of course - must regret saving that gang of pilgrims, even if they were invited to a feast in sincere gratitude that very first Thanksgiving Day. I will not speculate about that here because my title is (for the third time) Husk Thanksgiving.
What it was all about was sales. What else is new? The stores were trying to sell turkeys; very handy for Americans abroad. I bought 2 today after a long search through all the freezer compartments that were full of ducks, presumably left over from the Martinmas - Mortens Aften - on November 10th, a very big deal here. There was one turkey left after I nabbed my 2. Don't know how many they originally had, but turkey is becoming more popular in Denmark all the time, mainly because it is less fat & greasy than duck or goose.
But what about the menswear store & their Black Friday sale? Come on. Tomorrow is Open by Night here in Svendborg, meaning all shops open all the way until 10.00 pm with special offers everywhere you turn. This happens every year on the last Friday in November but as a kickoff of the Christmas season. The tree in the central square gets lit up with all due ceremony at 5.00 pm. So Black Friday ...? I would talk about the universality of culture but even taking 'culture' in its broadest sense, I can't bring myself to use the C-word for one more stupid sales pitch. Or in this case, two.
I made a pot of chili con carne for dinner & my husband & I wished each other Happy Thanksgiving. On Sunday a large but exclusive group assembles for turkey & all the trimmings, one of the year's absolute high points. I am thankful for so very much. But as for sales pitches, I say Bah Humbug! International finance is enough of a mashup already. Spare us, pleeeease, for Husk Thanksgiving & Black Friday sales where they do not belong. Let us celebrate from the heart - not the coolness quotient or whatever it's supposed to be. I'm glad I can buy a turkey in Svendborg - no matter that it comes from France. My holiday is none of their business.