Today we tried to call some of our friends in the States, and were frustrated to find that no one was answering their phones. Then we realized - oh yea, today is a holiday!
Today is Columbus Day in the United States. But, after reading up a little bit on Columbus Day, I came to find that the States are not so united in the celebration of this holiday.
For example, Nevada does not even celebrate the holiday. Other states celebrate different holidays in place of Columbus Day - such as "Native American Day" in South Dakota, "Indigenous Peoples' Day" in the People's Republic of Berkeley, California, and "Discoverers' Day" in Hawaii - rather than celebrate a man who mistreated Native Americans, and whose arrival led to the demise of their culture and society.
Denver (whoot, whoot!) has the longest-running Columbus Day parade in the United States, and it has been protested for the last 20 years by Native American groups, who aren't a big fan of Christopher Columbus.
Also non-fans of Columbus are the Venezuelans, who celebrate "Día de la Resistencia Indígena" (Day of Indigenous Resistance) on this day, to celebrate the resistance to European settlement in the Americas. On the 2004 Day of Indigenous Resistance, activists toppled a statue of Columbus in Caracas. One Venezuelan writer wrote: "Just like the statue of Saddam in Baghdad, that of Columbus the tyrant also fell this October 12, 2004 in Caracas."
Interestingly, in the US Virgin Islands the day is celebrated as "Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands Friendship Day," while in Puerto Rico they choose to celebrate Columbus Day. LOL! That seems like a one-sided friendship - like when Person A says they're good friends with Person B, but Person B says they don't even know who Person A is! Good luck US Virgin Islands - don't give up! Maybe in time, you will win Puerto Rico's affection.
In other holiday news - today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.
In case you think that the Canadians stole the whole Thanksgiving holiday from the United States - think again.
Although the first recorded Thanksgiving celebration in North America was held in Florida by Spanish explorers in 1565, the first Thanksgiving celebration in Canada took place in 1578, in what is now Newfoundland and Labrador province, and was organized by explorer Martin Frobisher to give thanks to God for having survived his journey. The first of the famous Thanksgiving celebrations by the English settlers in Virginia was in 1619, some 38 years later!
So, Happy Thanksgiving to our dear Canadian friends, happy Columbus Day or whatever it is called where you live to those of you in the USA, and to those of you who live in Nevada or most other places in the world - have a nice Monday!