Technically of course it’s Thanksgiving, but informally it’s Turkey Day and who knew, not even me, that turkeys were named after Turkey (Türkiye in Turkish), liberalFather’s homeland! Hoorray.
There is a fun and fascinating op-ed today in the New York Times explaining this fascinating linguistic window into history.
Briefly, a bird resembling what today we know as the turkey (a helmeted guinea fowl) from Madagascar was sold to the Brits who named them after the Turkish merchants who brought them there.* Later on, when the Spanish discovered for the western world meleagris gallopavo (aka Turkey) it was apparently close enough in type to also be called a Turkey. Therefore, if we were going to take our language back to it’s …differently-languaged source… Happy Türkiye Day!
The poor souls who have encountered me in the comment zone know I could write a short treatise about the competing current-day narratives on Thanksgiving. I’m not going to do that today except to mention that we are one of the few remaining counties in this country where the Native American/Western world interface still seems current and important to our day to day lives. I continue to hope for more days where both peoples – New World and Old World eat and celebrate harvest together. **
Since this is first meant to be a local political blog I would like to take this special day – a day where we come together as families and communities to give thanks to those neighbors and community members who on most other days of the year, especially 2014, might be subject to a tiny bit of adverse political attention from this particular url (and person).
So, Thank You to Matthew Owen, Richard Marks, Supervisors Bass, Bohn, and Fennel, and Sundberg Section 1500 and HumCPR crowd including Peter Childs, Dan Taranto, Bonnie Blackberry, Lee Ulansey, Bob Morris, and the hard working media maverick Charley Custer.
And I don’t mean this as a backhanded appreciation. I mean this sincerely. Thank you for the conversation and the political challenges. Our political system is a less than perfect way to approach conflict resolution, but it is better than most or all of the others humanity has come up with. Cheers to you and good luck next year with your political ambitions, many, if not most of our ambitions for our county are similar including wanting a better future than present.
One more thing… see that little spot right about WHERE HUMCO IS? Yes! Turkeys are native! HOORAY! I know Garbervillians know this first hand even if Eurekans don’t. Pretty awesome bird. (With a name from a pretty exceptional country (but, yes, with it’s own very serious troubles – present and past ))
HAPPY THANKSGIVING HUMBOLDT
* There is also this from the article…“That’s why the bird you’re going to eat is named for a country on the Black Sea. Other languages don’t make the same mistake. They make different ones. In France it’s called dinde, because they thought it was from India, or, in French, d’Inde. And in Turkey a lot of people thought that, too, so it’s called Hindi.” Is it a coincidence that all these peoples gave another culture’s name to this…less than classically attractive… bird? Just sayin’.
** (nourishing harvests btw)