Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Translates Well into Russian and French

I'll likely have a few other thoughts on Thanksgivging over the coming weekend. But it's starting to feel a lot like the holiday already. About two-thirds of the people in my office will be gone tomorrow, people are not returning phone calls for the rest of the week, and one's thoughts are turning to copious amounts of food, football, friends, and family. (How's that for allitereration?)

Two things come to mind. First of all, the Russian translation of Thanksgiving is den' blagodarenie, which does lend some cross-cultural relevance to the fourth Thursday in November. Hence the photo of me in the Soviet officer's cap which I smuggled out of the not-quite independent Russian Federation in 1992. (That, and per the request by a bitchin' expatriate fellow blogger in the UK.)

Secondly, the French translation of Thanksgiving is "le jour de merci donnant," or at least it is according to the late, great columnmist Art Buchwald. He had an uproariously funny Thanksgiving column that ran in the Washington Post for many, many years until recently. In my family we made it a tradition to read it every Thanksgiving morning. Here is the link for you to read avant manger votre dinde.

I'll share what I'm thankful for after the tryptophan kicks in. Happy Thanksgiving!

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