Lebanon, OR, November 12, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- History enthusiast, author and homemaker Carrie Franzwa is finding that her new living history alternative for Thanksgiving is raising both enthusiasm and tempers. In a country that is making history with its melting pot of cultural variety, it may appear that as of 2009 Americans are not all together in favor of a holiday change that fosters inclusion of American Indian culture. Yet, early supporters for the living history alternative have deemed the new holiday hobby “fabulous.”
“I live in a part of the country where we’re fairly accepting of America’s multi-cultural mix, so it did stun me a bit the first time someone accused me of just playing the race card,” said Franzwa. “I had to reassure myself that it was okay to mention American Indians on Thanksgiving.”
Although the Thanksgiving living history alternative was developed and designed for at-home pleasure and not as a social cure, Franzwa isn’t shy to point out that the Thanksgiving status quo does perpetuate English and American Indian stereotypes, and could use an overhaul.
“I do believe we are missing out on an opportunity to get real with our history, and to build bridges with our Native Peoples,” said Franzwa. “I, for one, would like to engage in the difficult task of restoring relationships. I am venturing that most Americans are also ready and willing.”
The vast majority of visitors to Franzwa’s website, IdeasThanksgiving.com, and to her Squidoo pages, Squidoo.com/UniqueThanksgiving and Squidoo.com/OurNativeAmericaNeighbors, have left supportive, if not glowing comments. Early feedback on Franzwa’s book, The American Patriot’s Treasury of Historical Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas, has also been positive. Where Franzwa finds the most resistance is in forums.
“In forums I have been targeted with hate and told to ‘Just get over it,’ like our Indians are often told, simply because I advocate the inclusion of non-English culture, and of little known cross-cultural history in Thanksgiving observances,“ said Franzwa. “My focus has always been time traveling for fun, but a great side benefit for my family has been the cultural awakening. I like to talk about that because I marvel at how badly I was gypped in my K-12 history education – just as many of my fellow Americans have been.”
Franzwa hopes that over time those participating in the living history alternative will come to appreciate the cultural value, but doesn’t plan to rob the fun by aggressively championing a cause. At present she is happy to enjoy the company of other American families who appreciate the alternative as nothing more than a frivolous new approach to an age old holiday.
Carrie Franzwa is a veteran home educator K-8, and a living history enthusiast who has authored seven K-12 education titles. The Franzwa family maintains an online storefront at Lulu.com/TeachFromTheHeart, and organizes community Thanksgiving events in their hometown of Lebanon, Oregon.