Thanksgiving (I) 感恩节(之一)

在一六二零年的九月,有一艘名为“五月花”,但不是那么大的船从英格兰的普利茅斯载了102名乘客,离开英国开往新大陆。那些乘客就是些改革派教徒,他们希望找到一个可以自由地按他们的方式来敬拜上帝的一个家,和一些受到新大陆将有兴旺前景和自己拥有土地的诱惑的人。经过危险和辛苦的六十六天航行之后,他们终于在靠近科德角的尖端抛了锚,这比他们原计划要到哈德逊河口北了很多。一个月以后,五月花驶过了马萨诸塞湾,他们这些现在被称为“清教徒”的人,就开始建立在普利茅斯建立了一个村庄。

经过了一个严寒的冬季以后,大部分殖民主义者都呆在船上受冻、得了坏血病、又遭受了传染病的攻击。因此,仅仅只有一半的乘客和船员活下来,在成为“新英格兰”的地方看到了第二年春天的来临。到三月,那些幸存下来的移民们,就搬到了岸上,在那里他们惊讶地遇见了一位名叫阿本农基的印第安人,因为他居然用英语来欢迎他们。有人说,他后来与另外一位宝陶艾克西特族的印第安人斯广朶来看那些搬到岸上来的英国移民,而斯广朶曾被一艘英国船的船长抓去作为奴隶,然后又逃到伦敦,最后通过一艘探险远征船回到本乡。斯广朶教那些清教徒怎样消除营养不良的现象和怎样治病,怎样种玉米,怎样从枫树上取得树汁,怎样在河里捕鱼,怎样对付有毒的植物。他也帮助这些新移民与当地的万帕诺亚格人建立一个友好的关系。这个关系使欧洲殖民者与当地的印第安人保持了五十多年的友好关系,可惜这是欧洲殖民者与印第安人仅有的一个友好关系。

1621年的十一月,当那些清教徒第一次得到了玉米的大丰收以后,威廉姆·布拉德夫州长举办了一次庆祝宴会,宴会邀请了新建立的殖民地上的印第安人,也包括了万帕诺亚格人的族长梅斯赛特。现在,这次宴会就是被称为“首次感恩节” 虽然那些清教徒在当时并没有用这个名词 这个宴会连续了三天。至于在这个宴会说他们吃了什么东西却没有任何的记录。清教徒中的爱德华·温斯洛作为一个记史者在他的日志里说,州长布拉德夫派了四个人去为这个宴会打猎预备食物。而作为客人的万帕诺亚格人带来了五只鹿。历史学家认为,那时的宴会里的菜是用印第安人的作料和烹调方式制作的。因为那些清教徒没有英国式的烤箱,而五月花上的糖在1621年的秋天就基本用完了。所以在那次的宴会上没有甜馅饼、蛋糕,也没有其他任何甜点心,然而这些甜点却是现代感恩节庆祝宴会上的标志。


讨论问题:

1. 你是不是曾经听到过有关美国感恩节的故事?是在什么地方听到的?是怎么说的?

2. Pilgrims 是谁?(你可能要在网上搜一下,才能找到答案)

3. 第一次感恩节是在什么时候?他们是怎样庆祝的?

4. 你觉得典型的感恩节大餐应该包括什么样的菜?

5. 在你的国家里,是不是也有类似美国感恩节的庆祝?如果有的话,请告诉我们你们是怎样庆祝的。

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers – an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith in God and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

 

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold in to slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

 

In November 1621, after the pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving” – although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time – the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and then Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.


Discussion Questions:

1. Did you ever hear a story of American Holiday – Thanksgiving? If so, where did you hear it? How was it?

2. Who are the Pilgrims? (You may need to do some online searching.)

3. When was the very first Thanksgiving? How did they celebrate it?

4. What are the typical dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, in your mind?

5. Do you have similar celebrations in your country as American Thanksgiving? If so, please tell us about it.

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