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Thanksgiving or not



Paul Simon tells us that Thanksgiving is a non-event in China: "Gan En Jie" has not caught on in China (nor Korea). It's always a scramble to make a dinner in places where they don't eat turkey, pumpkin pie, or cranberries, let me tell you. Nonetheless, we succeeded again this year and will say a prayer for all WAISers everywhere when we sit down to our bird in a few hours". RH: It's just 4 a.m here in Stanford. Let's see if I have got this straight. There is 16 and a half hours' difference between Pacific and Chinese time. It must already be Friday in China. Paul must have said his prayer. As yet I have not noticed the effect, but his turkey has. Its last words were "Pray for me, Paul".

I asked: "Why would harvests be earlier in Canada?" David Heap says: "Because by late November much of the agricultural land is already covered in snow and / or frozen: people traditionally harvested earlier because they had no choice". This is a complicated business. Wheat adapts to a wide range of climates, from the Arctic to the tropics, and Canadian wheat ripens earlier than in the US. There is also the special schedules of winter and durum wheat, or should I say triticum durum, triticum being the origin of the Spanish word "trigo". However, "trigo" applies primarily to "triticum vulgare", ordinary wheat from which bread is made. "Triticum durum" is used primarily to make pasta, spaghetti, etc. Question: Why then are Canadians not great pasta eaters?

David says that Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in Ontario, and, he believes in other Canadian provinces. This takes us into Canadian constitutional matters. The relationship of the provinces to the central government is very tricky. What is a statute? It means an established rule or law, as in the statutes of a university. I suppose this means that in the Canadian provinces Thanksgiving was established by an old law, and thus does not have to be proclaimed every year. My impression is that the concept of statutes is more common in England than the US, since many laws go back to the misty past. Any clarification?

Ronald Hilton - 11/28/02


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