So let me get this straight:
Sinterklaas can still be Sinterklaas.
He and his Pieten can still arrive in Amsterdam on the steamboat.
They can still have all the processions through cities and towns.
People can still come out to welcome them.
Kids can still wave at Sinterklaas and give the Pieten their drawings.
The Pieten can still wear the same costumes.
They can still hand out candy.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and chocolate letters,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you Piet (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (also relatively new).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
Kids and adults can even place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (again, new).
People can still exchange gifts.
Children can still make surprises.
A good time can still be had by all.
The only thing that would change is the color of Piet’s face and hair.
And this is how you react?
(Welcome to the Netherlands, where all cultures are accepted except our own.)
Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?
My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.
Posted in black pete, Cultural Differences, Dutch food, Holland, Language, Mass Communication, Racism, Sinterklaas, Slavery
Tagged black pete, Dutch blackface, Holidays, Netherlands, opinie, Opinion, racial stereotypes, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet
Okay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading
Posted in American flag, black pete, Books, Cultural Differences, Education, Emigration / Immigration, Employment, Holland, Language, Montessori Schools, National Anthem, Nationalism, Pledge of Allegiance, Racism, School Libraries, Sinterklaas, Slavery, University, Violence
Tagged culture, cultuur, immigratie, immigration, Nederland, Netherlands, politics, politiek, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, tolerance, toleratie, Zwarte Piet
I was invited to speak at a meeting of an anti-fascist group today, specifically to give my insight from a Dutch perspective, as my country was occupied by the Germans during World War Two. Continue reading
Posted in Fascism, German Occupation 1940 - 1945, Holland, Migrate, Nationalism, Society, US Politics, Violence, World War Two
Tagged Charlottesville, Fascism, fascism in America, German occupation, Nationalism, Netherlands, Opinion, politics, society, Trump, World War II, World War Two, WWII
In the spirit of refueling, I downloaded an app with Dutch news from different media. And right away an article in Elsevier caught my eye.
It’s about a Muslim school in the town of Zaandam, that sued four parents of former students for slander and libel. Continue reading
Posted in Media, Society
Tagged America, conspiracies, defamation, Europe, Fethullah Gulen, libel, lies, media, Netherlands, Opinion, slander, terrorist schools, terroristenschool, Trump, Zaandam
Vagabond Urges wrote in yesterday’s post, The Secret to Europe, about greetings in Paris shops. He observed that when a customer comes in, he or she greets the person behind the counter. Who then reciprocates and things go on from there. If you don’t start off with a greeting, you get the cold shoulder. As an American, he had to get used to that.
So I started thinking about different greetings. Continue reading
In a reply to a comment by Onno on one of my posts about Zwarte Piet, I mentioned that the Netherlands is still in the Stone Age when it comes to racial sensitivity. Onno responded by pointing to Ferguson. Continue reading
Posted in Holland, Police, Society
Tagged black pete, Ferguson, Netherlands, opinie, Opinion, police brutality, Racism, racisme, Zwarte Piet