Tag Archives: halloween

Happy Thanksgiving

One unforeseen consequence of the spread of American culture is that many erstwhile American holidays are now celebrated around the world.  For instance, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day both developed into major events in the US, but now are celebrated in the American style in many countries.  Then there are the holidays that weren’t truly American to begin with, namely the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, which are celebrated throughout the Christian parts of the world. 

Of the big American holidays, that really leaves just the 4th of July and Thanksgiving as true American holidays.  As a result, today is just another Thursday in Oslo.  Everyone is at work, no big celebrations are planned, and there won’t be any football on TV. 

Which all makes me feel ambivalent.  On the one hand, I’m sad that I won’t get to experience those traditions this year.  On the other hand, I’m thankful that we Americans get to keep this part of our culture as our own.  In such a multicultural country as the US, it’s nice to have a uniquely American holiday to bring all the diverse groups together.  After all, for one day a year, you can never get enough of the “hypersweetsweet potato casserole with fluffy marshmallows on top, the cranberry sauce, or the perhaps-too-dry turkey.  It’s enough to make you want to fall asleep on the couch watching football.

(But aren’t you having a makeup Thanksgiving in early December with your fiancee’s family?  Yes, but it’s still not quite the same.  And it would ruin the blog post.)

Here’s a gratuitous picture of a cartoon turkey:

Piracy hits Norway

From Reuters:

Norwegian shipping group Odfjell will stop sailing through the Gulf of Aden to avoid pirates and will reroute its vessels around the Cape of Good Hope despite the higher costs, the company said on Monday.

“We will no longer expose our crew to the risk of being hijacked and held for ransom by pirates in the Gulf of Aden,” Odfjell Chief Executive Terje Storeng said in a statement.

“The re-routing will entail extra sailing days and later cargo deliveries,” he said. “This will incur significant extra cost, but we expect our customers’ support and contribution.”

Whenever I hear about piracy, I have mixed images, perhaps as a result of too many Halloweens in the US.  I generally picture somebody looking like this:

as opposed to most modern day pirates, who look something more like this:

Either way, though, shipping is a huge industry in Norway and piracy has been a recurring problem with increasing flare-ups in recent years.  The last line of the statement, about “significant extra costs,” will only increase the costs of goods and services worldwide, adding to the possibility of global recession.

Maybe it won’t be so cool to dress up as a pirate anymore.