Gov. Cuomo will not stop this New York family from celebrating Thanksgiving
From the second year that we were in this country, we have celebrated Thanksgiving as all Americans do. In the first year, we were invited to some friends' house. We took their hospitality as an example, and we have tried to do the same during the Thanksgiving holiday. We invite anybody who wants to be invited, from college students to friends who, like us, immigrated to this country. We do not have any family members here in the U.S. but invite friends to experience this shared American holiday. We share our fried turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry chutney, and sweet potato casserole with our guests — foods we had no idea about twenty years ago.
Nobody, including an authoritarian governor, can stop us from having our meal together. We escaped an authoritarian and totalitarian regime (the Islamic Republic of Iran), whose main goal is to control people's lives; we will not let anybody to change what America is. As we ignored all Islamists' verdicts in private and public, we will continue to ignore Democrats who love to limit people's liberties. You, Democrats, have already ruined the good sense of free and fair elections for immigrants like us with mass cheating, but you cannot ruin Thanksgiving. In the last ten months, we have heard tons of nonsense from you and other Democrats. Quite simply, we are fed up.
We celebrate Nowruz and Yalda, the secular Iranian holidays, beside the American ones. For a while, we considered ourselves Iranian-Americans. When identity politics got popular and excruciating, we hated it and dropped the Iranian prefix while saving the language, the food, the music, and those two holidays. We have not and will not use our Iranian identity to receive any benefits or privileges that others use these days, thanks to the left's discriminatory identity politics.
People all over the world have and use holidays to meet and socialize with their family members and friends. Yalda Night, the longest night of the year, is when Iranian families get together and eat nuts, watermelon, pomegranates, and homemade cookies. During Nowruz (the first day of spring), family members visit one other to celebrate the change of the seasons. The Iranian calendar begins with Nowruz and has nothing to do with any religion, ethnicity, or nationality. Thanksgiving for us has a sense of Yalda and Nowruz combined.
The only reason for our family to immigrate to the U.S. was the lack of freedom to express ourselves and live our lives as free persons. Although we are not New Hampshirites, we live by and love their slogan, "Live Free or Die." We did not leave our birthplace with 4,000 years of history to live under a governor whose policies and decisions are similar to the ayatollahs and mullahs we barely escaped. We have no intention to flee this country and leave it to despots and thugs such as Andrew Cuomo.
Majid Mohammadi is a sociologist and freelance writer. His latest books are Islamic Mayhem, Shi`i Style: How Does Khamenei Rule Iran? and Iranians in the Dark: Secrecy, Crime, and Corruption Run through Khamenei’s Office.