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‘It’s a peculiarly American story!’: Tom Elliott questions why Australians are celebrating American holidays

Tom Elliott has noticed sharp increase in the number of Australians celebrating Thanksgiving this year, and he doesn’t get it.

“Why on earth are we celebrating Thanksgiving?,” the 3AW Drive host questioned after seeing many posts from Australians celebrating the holiday on Thursday.

“Thanksgiving is when the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock in north-eastern USA. They’d successfully made the crossing at a time when a lot of ships tended to sink when they went across the north Atlantic, and they gave thanks for being alive.

“It’s a peculiarly American story. It has nothing to do with Australia!”

But Tom doesn’t have a problem with the spread of other American holidays.

“I know that Halloween has made its way from the United States to here, and that’s okay,” he said.

“Kids love Harry Potter and the whole idea of dressing up as a goblin or gnome or something like that.

“But Thanksgiving, I don’t get it.”

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Social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle said retail focused events like Black Friday will continue to gain popularity in Australia, but the future of less commercial events, like Thanskgiving, is questionable.

“The Americanisation of things is certainly continuing to grow, not just through popular culture now but through Netflix, and social media and everything else,” he told Tom Elliott.

“Certainly when there are marketers behind something it does tend to get big pick up.

“Nine-in-10 Australians have heard of Black Friday and one-in-five prepared to buy big.

“The broader trend in this global connection of particularly these retail focused events gaining greater traction in Australia, I think that’s a trend that we will continue to see.”

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Image (background): skynesher