Operation Cup of Tea

I’m always on a lookout to see how tea features in popular culture and found the social media success of Operation Cup of Tea fascinating. It is an anti-rioting campaign against the sudden outburst of widespread violence in England earlier this month.

“During the rioting, we have been urging the Great British public to harness the power of tea by staying at home and having a brew, every night until it stops. Furthermore, we want everyone to take a photo of themselves in the act and post it to Facebook as a show of solidarity.” – Sam Pepper

Drinking tea is an appropriate symbol for the following reasons:
– Tea is perceived as a peaceful drink.
– Britain is a tea-drinking nation.
– It is a ritual that is accessible whether rich or poor.

Due to overwhelming popularity (over 300,000 people on its FB page), this platform is now also used to raise funds for victims affected by the riots.

Of course, there are detractors to this movement – some say it is just a slick, attention-seeking gimmick, while others say  it does not solve the rooted social problems that caused this violence in the first place. But judging from the photos that are being posted up on their Facebook page, many people are drinking tea to make a statement, and a powerful one at that.

Just for the sake of a juxtaposition, and perhaps to lighten things a bit, I found this rather hilarious tea video – a comedy spoof on tea’s gentle image.  My favourite part: the Thor-like fireman bellowing “AN-TI-OXI-DANTSSSSSS!” Don’t play the clip  if swearing or teabags offend you though.

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