The year was 1620. Pilgrims and adventurers packed onto the Mayflower in hopes of discovering new land. Their destination, the “New World,” promised complete freedom of religion and land ownership—something that appealed to religious separatists and risk-taking entrepreneurs.
But sea travel was brutal (it lasted 66 days) and once they arrived, it was only a few months before the New England winter descended upon them. Most Pilgrims fled to the Mayflower, where the ship incubated scurvy and contagious diseases.
By the spring of 1621, half the settlers had died from malnutrition and illness. Those who remained returned to the land and were greeted by an Abenaki Indian and his friend, Squanto (who helped build an alliance between the settlers and the Wampanoag tribe).
The natives spent the spring and summer educating the settlers on everything from cultivating corn to extracting sap, to catching fish in rivers. Their teachings helped the Pilgrims thrive—so much so that by the autumn of 1621, it was time to enjoy their first harvest:
“Our harvest being gotten in…that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labors…And although it is not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
Edward Winslow, Pilgrim chronicler
Today, the story of Thanksgiving is fraught with tension—many believe it disguises the ill-doings of European colonists and the truth of their violence. And while the controversy continues, Thanksgiving continues to leave its legacy.
Research shows that giving to others helps maintain our “prosocial reputations” and reinforces our sense of social connection and belonging. The individual who gives repeatedly—even in identical ways—continues to experience renewed pleasure each time they give.
Perhaps that’s why Thanksgiving carries such powerful symbolism: it reminds us that there is joy in giving thanks and there is joy in simply giving.
We at Nepali Tea Traders believe tea is a joyful activity. It’s an occasion to share in the pleasure of giving and receiving, and to experience the magic of Thanksgiving--with every single teapot.
Happy Thanksgiving from Nepali Tea Traders
Share with us. What are you most grateful for?☟ ☟ ☟ ☟
Image of First Thanksgiving via worldhistory.us