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 in the Netherlands, where all cultures are permitted except our own.)
Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?
My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.
Posted in Consumption, Government, History, Holland, Language, Politics, Recreation, Slavery, Society, Uncategorized, Violence
Tagged black pete, Dutch blackface, holidays, Netherlands, opinie, opinion, racial stereotypes, racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet
On July 14, a man ran his truck into crowds of people enjoying the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, France, killing eighty-some and wounding so many others.
Bastille Day celebrates the birth of the French Republic, with its motto, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Fraternity means, among other things, communal support, friendship, brotherhood. Continue reading
Posted in Austin, Government, Police, Politics, Religion, Society, Travel, Violence
Tagged Bastille Day attack, Baton Rouge, human connections, opinie, opinion, peace, police shootings, Police violence, politics, religion, six degrees of separation, society, terrorism
Okay, the problem with starting a series of posts on one incident is that in the meantime other stuff happens. Though I was intent on not going along with the “news cycle,” I’m going to cut my posts on the Spring Valley High School SRO assault on a female student short. The two remaining posts, about American football coach idolization and the lack of mental health support in this country will have to wait until another time.
A few days ago I came across an article about the state of the Cold War in 1983. Continue reading
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, History
Tagged Able Archer 1983, Cold War, Dutch peace demonstrations, history, opinie, opinion, President Reagan, Reagan's war games, vredesdemonstraties 1981 - 1983, world history
I have been pointing out that something has to be done about American police training in practically every post I’ve ever written about the police. America is finally catching on. Increasingly, there are calls for changes in police training after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City. Continue reading
Posted in Holland, Police
Tagged America, chokehold death, de boskamp, Eric Garner, Ferguson, Michael Brown, opinie, opinion, police, police shootings, police training, Police violence, politiegeweld
I found this video on a post about Zwarte Piet by Travelogues of an African Girl. Holland, it’s time to catch up.
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
Okay, one more repost, because I’ve had so many hits on the last one. Clearly there’s an interest and the post below is one that gets skipped a lot, it seems.
After this I’m stopping with the Zwarte Piet issue, at least for this year. I think.
Posted in Holland, Society
Tagged black pete, discriminatie, Netherlands, opinie, opinion, Piet moet blijven, racism, racisme, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet