is thanksgiving really thankful?

thanksgiving is a holiday known for friends and family to come together each year to be grateful and give thanks.

while most of us might not have known about thanksgiving growing up, in this increasingly global and westernised world, thanksgiving has now become a known tradition in many parts of the world, including India.

but where does thanksgiving come from? do its roots really embody being thankful?

the first thanksgiving at plymouth | credit- wikipedia

this year marks the 400th anniversary of the very first American Thanksgiving. here are a few things about Thanksgiving’s origins that might shock you:

the story of the beginning

the holiday’s origins tie back to the three-day feast where the native tribes celebrated the English settlers’ first harvest at Plymouth colony. it symbolises the natives, ceding to colonialism.

it was 1621, and you can bet that a story that goes so far back has some loopholes in it. it was not all peace and fun times.

peace and conquest

as it turns out, the historically significant feast was short-lived. the alliance between the native Wampanoag tribe and the colonists became strained as more and more settlers arrived in the colony and started taking away their land.

the indian fever

what many of us are not aware of is that most of the natives were dying of diseases that the European settlers brought along with them. they called it the deadly indian fever.

the bloody war

as relations deteriorated, a war was declared in 1675, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of native Americans.

a brutal beheading of the tribe’s chief followed afterwards. many American Indians publicly mourned the death of their tribe.

with people now becoming more and more aware of the past, many are reconsidering whether we should continue celebrating the festival as it is.

today, thanksgiving means gathering with family and friends to express gratitude. for some, it’s the only time of the year when they meet their loved ones. Traditions' meanings can shift over time, and as we celebrate Thanksgiving, we can remember the past and the lives lost.

happy thanksgiving! live aastey!