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A South African Perspective: The Rewarding History of Thanksgiving

Howzit from the beautiful city of Raleigh, NC! We asked one of our employees to write his thoughts on Thanksgiving and here is what he said that we thought was fitting to share with all of you.


As a proud South African with influences from Canada, the United States, and the UK, the celebration of Thanksgiving has been an enriching journey that has deeply resonated with me. In this blog, let's explore the rewarding history of Thanksgiving from a South African perspective and discover the valuable lessons it imparts.


Embracing the Spirit of Gratitude


In South Africa, gratitude is deeply ingrained in our diverse cultural fabric. From Ubuntu, the African philosophy of interconnectedness, to the spirit of communal sharing during traditional gatherings, expressing gratitude for our blessings is an essential part of our identity. As I learned about the history of Thanksgiving in the United States, I was moved by the shared sentiment of gratitude, regardless of cultural background.


A Journey of Resilience and Unity


Thanksgiving's history is a testament to the strength and unity that can arise from adversity. The Pilgrims, who fled England seeking religious freedom, faced challenging times upon arriving in the New World. It was through cooperation with the Wampanoag Native Americans that they learned to cultivate the land and ultimately celebrated a bountiful harvest together.


Similarly, South Africa's history is marked by a journey of resilience and unity. From overcoming the challenges of apartheid to embracing our diverse heritage, we have learned the importance of coming together, just as the Pilgrims did, to build a brighter future for all.


Celebrating Abundance and Harvest


Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate abundance and the fruits of hard work. The traditional feast that marks this occasion echoes the African tradition of feasting and sharing during harvest festivals. Whether it's a Thanksgiving turkey or a South African braai (barbecue), the act of sharing a meal with loved ones holds a special place in both cultures.




Fostering Community and Togetherness


Thanksgiving is not just about indulging in delectable dishes; it's about coming together as a community. The act of sharing and supporting one another during this holiday reflects the spirit of Ubuntu that runs deep in South African culture. As we gather around the table with friends and family, we strengthen the bonds that make us who we are.



Reflecting on Our Shared Past


As I delve into the history of Thanksgiving, I'm reminded of the importance of acknowledging our shared past. Understanding the complexities of history allows us to learn from the past and shape a more inclusive and compassionate future.


While Thanksgiving originated in the United States, its spirit of gratitude, resilience, unity, and community is universal. As a South African with global influences, I cherish the rewarding experience of learning about Thanksgiving and its values. This holiday serves as a bridge that connects diverse cultures and traditions, reminding us that despite our differences, we all share a common thread of gratitude and togetherness.


In conclusion, let's celebrate Thanksgiving with open hearts and minds, embracing the rich history that has shaped this meaningful holiday. As we gather to share a meal and express our gratitude, may we be reminded of the rewarding journey of resilience, unity, and community that binds us all together. Happy Thanksgiving from our hearts to yours!

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