The term Nacirema is American spelled backward. It was first introduced by Horace Miner in, "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema." Today, it is mainly used by anthropologists to distance themselves, and avoid personal bias, when writing about American culture, its rituals, and its customs.
The Nacireman holiday of Thanksgiving is happening this week. Thanksgiving is highly contested — specifically in regards to the collective amnesia this day represents. The series of massacres, wars, violence and disease that ensued after colonizers settled in the New World has been left out in the reconstruction of memory around the feast between the pilgrims and natives. Nonetheless, the Nacireman politics of Thanksgiving are not what I shall be focusing on.
The Nacireman holiday of Thanksgiving is a time for Naciremans to give thanks and show appreciation to those around them. I, however, have found Thanksgiving to be quite an ironic holiday. A day that is meant to for gratitude is actually one of the biggest mass consumption days of the year.
In 2017, Naciremans spent $2.9 billion on Thanksgiving shopping — the beloved turkeys and cranberries can be quite costly. This high price tag does not even include the 29 million flights that Naciremans took to see family members that they won’t speak to until next Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is also a day for Naciremans to quite literally over-consume. They pride themselves in eating more than they need. This is often celebrated with the phrase, “I’m slipping into a food coma!” It is quite ironic that Naciremans show gratitude by consuming more.