What does Thanksgiving mean?

Sun Nov 20, 2022

So what is Thanksgiving all about?

Depends on who you ask...I know that history is important, and every major holiday starts as an event (or series of events) that happened in the past, and then as we tell the story of our history, it depends on who is telling the story and their perspective of what REALLY happened.

As the pilgrims came to the New World (America), they had to fight to survive the long trip over on the Mayflower (my ancestor Thomas Rogers was on this ship!) and the other two ships. There was a lot of sickness and they came to this land with no knowledge of how to live on it.

I read an article, and it states, "It was the Wampanoag (Indians) in 1621 who helped the first wave of Puritans arriving on our shores, showing them how to plant crops, forage for wild foods and basically survive. The first official mention of a “Thanksgiving” celebration occurs in 1637..."

So if you are coming to a new land, you need the help of those who are in it, and this uneasy alliance did not come without adversity and conflict.

But this is my take on it - and it's said well in the article I quoted above -

"We do not need that illusion of past unity to actually unite people today. Instead, we can focus simply on values that apply to everybody: togetherness, generosity and gratitude. And we can make the day about what everybody wants to talk and think about anyway: the food...

People may not realize it, but what every person in this country shares, and the very history of this nation, has been in front of us the whole time.

Most of our Thanksgiving recipes are made with indigenous foods: turkey, corn, beans, pumpkins, maple, wild rice and the like. We should embrace this."

Article - https://time.com/5457183/thanksgiving-native-american-holiday/

And we should embrace what brings us together - love and unity - no matter who you are or where you came from.

The amazing video below brings together native tribes and their beautiful native costumes to show us what they have done to come together, and we can too - if we embrace it :)

Laurel Archer
A North Carolina-based teacher and lover of language and reading. She loves to find fun ways to teach English and connect with people all over the world.

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