Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving often falls on November 26, which is also a holiday in Mongolia.

National Proclamation Day is celebrated today to remember Mongolia becoming their own nation in 1924, after beginning to fight for it in 1921.  It previously was a national holiday where people didn't have to work.  But this year they observed Genghis Khan's birthday instead on the 12th of November.  I guess this would be like our President's Day.

I've always seen the two holidays as very similar.  Our Thanksgiving is unique in the world.  Canada is the only other nation we know of that has a special day for giving thanks.  But this Mongolian holiday has overtones of our American thanksgiving.

We remember not only the 'blessings of heaven', that the sun shone and the rain fell in the right balance to produce crops, that decorate our tables.   We remember the pilgrim's plight through their first winter in New England, helped by the Native Americans.  

Mongolians were helped by the Red Man as well.  Though they consider themselves the ancestors of our American 'Indians', and there is cultural evidence to support that, it was the Red Russians that helped them win freedom from oppressive occupying Chinese.

So Mongolians, like Americans, have a lot to be thankful for today.  I hope you enjoy yours and are able to lift a mug of hot tasty beverage or a turkey leg to celebrate.

I am your representative in Mongolia.  A festive drink was just carried into my office, left over from our feeding of the homeless program.  I will lift this lukewarm mug of salty, milk-based rice-filled-with-chips-of-sheep-fat-floating-in-it tea on your behalf. 

I wonder if the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock imbibed anything this festive in 1620.  As hungry as they were, I'm sure something like it seemed tasty no matter how unfamiliar.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Let us be grateful for God and country today especially.

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