Blog Entries

Columbus Day, Smulumbous Day

Monday, October 11, 2010
I didn't remember that today was a holiday until yesterday when someone mentioned it to me.  And like millions of other people, I just thought of it as another day that I wouldn't have access to the bank or the post office.  After all, I've always been clear - in spite of what we all learned from our history books - that Christopher Columbus didn't actually discover anything that hadn't already been discovered and inhabited by its natives for ages; he just showed up and took over.  So Columbus Day, Smulumbous Day, I figure, let's all just go to the beach!
But my world got pleasantly rocked this morning when I started seeing Happy Indigneous People's Day on my Facebook newsfeed and then of course I perked right up.  Now that is what I'm talking about.  Wiki says that Columbus Day has been celebrated as Día de la Raza in many countries in the Americas, as Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures) in Costa Rica, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain and as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various countries since the early 20th century.  Hawaii, South Dakota, and Nevada don't celebrate Columbus Day at all. Hawaii instead celebrates Discoverer's Day, which commemorates the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii on the same date; South Dakota celebrates the day as Native American Day and while Nevada unofficially observes Colmbus Day, all schools and government offices are open.  Good.

But it looks like Berkeley, California (wahooo!) has replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day since 1992 (where have I been?) "to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the demise of Native American people and culture through disease, warfare, massacre, and forced assimilation."  [Wiki again]  :::: Vigorously shaking my head up and down ::::  Now that's something I can get down with. 

And while getting the skinny on Indigneous People's Day (I love saying that!), I also found out about the United Nation's International Day of the World's Indigenous People celebrated on August 9 (I need a better calendar) "to further strengthen international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development."  []  Deep sigh.  I love this stuff.

Panama's Indigneous Peoples courtesy of

Now if you know anything about OBG at all, you know I don't need a holiday as a reason to celebrate indigenous culture (just type Native American in the OBG search box and you'll see what I mean), but you probably also know that I'll rock a party hat if you give me a reason to.  So here I sit, in my pretty little party hat (it's cute too) at my pretty little desk with a new reason to celebrate the day....and I genuinely feel good about it.  Happy Indigneous People's Daaaaayyyyy everyone...a far more important meaning to today's trip to the beach!


Niurka on: October 11, 2010 at 1:35 PM said...

great article Tracey

Unknown on: October 12, 2010 at 1:09 AM said...

Smiling. Thanks for saying so, Niurka!

Aqueelah on: October 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM said...

Oh, I love it! I forgot about C day, too, and am in agreement that you can't discover something that's already "been there, done that". I look forward to your articles and you never disappoint. Now let me go find my party hat!


Looking For A Speaker to Chat With Your Youth Group About The World of Travel? Book Tracey today!

Looking For A Speaker to Chat With Your Youth Group About The World of Travel? Book Tracey today!
Please send inquiries to Complimentary passport photos for all of the kids in your group! Photo: Paris, France (2012)

The Danger of a Single Story

It's a Carnival!

Just finished reading...

Just finished reading...
5 Stars!


The Chit Chat is going down on Facebook!

The Chit Chat is going down on Facebook!
1700+ OBG Advocates!

Travel Enthusiasts Use Social Media...

On the OBG Bookshelf

Blog Archive

Fortune Enough to Travel?

The Sweetest Trip Around The World...

Copyright © 2010 • Tracey Friley's® - Culture. Diversity. Humanity. Travel. • All rights reserved