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Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) updated

The last time I wrote about Holland’s peculiar Zwarte Piet (Black Piet) tradition was five years ago. I think it’s time for an update. Sinterklaas is both a person and a holiday. On December 5th each year (the holiday), Sinterklaas (the person) brings gifts to children at their houses much like Santa Claus does in…

chocolate figures of Santa Claus, being sold in the Netherlands for Christmas

Christmas Compared

It’s almost Christmas, and I’ve been thinking a lot this year about the holiday as an event. Perhaps because I was much less busy this year than in previous years leading up to it, I’ve been noticing more. Note added at Christmas 2020: While I wrote this back in 2015, these observations still apply ……

Zwarte Piet as portrayed on wrapping paper.

Zwarte Piet Updated

It’s that time of year again: Sinterklaas is approaching, along with Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). I wrote about this two years ago and then again last year, so I thought I’d add a short update today. Changes in Zwarte Piet The Zwarte Piet debate continues. Or rather, a vocal minority condemns it as racist while…

newspaper article about the Sinterklaas news program

Black Pete redux

Speaking of local traditions, Sinterklaas is approaching again, and with it, the controversy over Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). As I posted last year, Sinterklaas (the holiday) takes place on December 5th. On that day, as well as the weeks leading up to it, Sinterklaas (the person) delivers gifts to children, landing on their roofs on…

Is Black Pete racist?

[:en]To state the patently obvious, it’s terribly racist in this day and age for a white person to dress up in blackface and play a comic character.[:]