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Thread: Zwarte Piet: The Face of National Resistance in The Netherlands

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    Dutch Sinterklaas tradition under threat

    The Sinterklaas tradition appears to be gradually fading in the multicultural Dutch society in the face of rising criticism to the saint's helpers, 'Zwarte Pieten' (Black Peters).

    A Sinterklaas was attacked by youths at several locations in recent days and public broadcasters have indicated they want to start a debate on the Black Peters.

    Debate about Zwarte Pieten has been intensifying in recent years, with some immigrant groups complaining about racist connotations, news service NIS reported on Tuesday.

    Tradition, however, states that Sinterklaas' helpers are not black slaves, but have black faces from sliding down chimneys to deliver presents.

    Sinterklaas, the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, arrives by steamboat from Spain at about 20 November each year to give presents to all children on 5 December.

    Public broadcaster NOS reports on the arrival of Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten.

    But this year, NOS reported that the steamboat sailed into a rainbow on the way to the Netherlands. As a result, the Zwarte Pieten have blue, green, yellow and red faces this year.


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    Lík börn leika best.

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    Re: Dutch Sinterklaas tradition at threat

    There are more recurring theories about the roots of the Zwarte Pieten - the 'Black' helpers of Sinterklaas.

    One of those tells of Zwarte Piet as a relict of the crusades; a sort of captured Saracen turned into helper/slave.

    What is particular about Sinterklaas, is not only a heathen counterpart (whom he replaced), but his christian equivalent - Sint-Maarten (Saint Martin) - celebrated in one minor region in France and two in Flanders.

    The latter fought for the Roman empire, he was a christian officer in the army of Rome, and he, like most of his men wore the symbol of the ankh on their chests.

    Saint-Martin delivered me presents on the 11th of november, Sinterklaas does his important job on the sixth of december. They're real childhood heroes.

    The last couple of years, this orignally Spanish tradition, has lost a lot of its appeal due to the ever increasing commerce. The import of "Halloween" is only one thing harming the future of Sinterklaas.

    In any event, this is a major Dietsche tradition, and removing Zwarte Piet from the legend would still do more harm than good to their multi-racialism.
    “As brothers and sisters we knew instinctively that if we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.” - Douglas Coupland

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    Is the Belgian and Dutch Tradition of Black Peter Racist?

    Paul Ames, Minneapolis Post, December 9, 2009

    To a visitor from across the Atlantic the scene would be disconcerting to say the least.

    Dozens of young Europeans in satin britches and curly afro wigs, in blackface, cavort through a gleeful crowd. Their rouged lips and darkened faces recall the notorious minstrel shows of 19th-century America.

    Dressed in scarlet and blue, with lace collars and feathered caps, the performers descend on ropes from the neo-gothic Town Hall tower. One walks a tightrope high above the market square. Flashing white grins, groups scamper around the packed plaza scattering fistfuls of candy to delighted kids.

    Welcome to the world of Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter, the controversial character who replaces the elves as Santa’s little helper in Belgium and the Netherlands.

    To some, St. Nick’s black-painted assistant represents a harmless and cherished tradition. To others it’s outdated, offensive and inappropriate in an increasingly multi-ethnic European society.

    “It has to be the most racist celebration in contemporary Western civilization,” writes Anthony Murrell, a black American resident of Amsterdam. “It serves as a virtual assault on all black and brown people living in Holland.”

    {snip}

    Although many Dutch and Belgian families now also give gifts at Christmas, traditionally the big day for children in the Low Countries has been St. Nicholas day on Dec. 6. The celebration recognizes a fourth-century bishop from what is now Turkey who became renowned among medieval Christians for his generosity and help for children.

    A kindly, white bearded figure in red bishop’s robes, the Dutch “Sinterklaas” became the prototype for Santa Claus in 19th-century America.

    Around the same time, back in the Netherlands, St. Nick gained a black assistant. His origins are obscure. Some say he evolved from a devil tamed by the saint, others that Pete is an Ethiopian slave freed by St. Nick, or a Moor with origins in Spain. Attempts to make him more politically correct suggest that Black Pete’s black face is actually the result of climbing down chimneys to deliver presents.

    Initially Black Pete was a frightening figure who would whip bad children or bundle them off to Spain in his sack, while Saint Nicholas rewarded the well-behaved with treats. These days, Pete has mellowed into a mischevious scamp who assists his elderly boss with the present distribution business.

    In this town named for the saint, there’s no doubt who the kids are most excited to see. “Zwarte Piet, Zwarte Piet,” they shout as the youths in blackface toss candy into the air while inhabitants of Sint-Niklaas—including several members of its sizable black community—celebrate the annual arrival of their patron saint on Nov. 15.

    “In the past, December was not a happy time for me,” said Wouter Van Bellingen, the first black alderman elected to the Sint-Niklaas city council. “As a child I’d go out to the market and kids would shout ‘oh look there goes Zwarte Piet.’”

    “It’s not like that anymore. Fifteen years ago they hardly saw a black person. There’s been an evolution, the culture has changed,” Van Bellingen said in a telephone interview. “People see Black Peter as a tradition, but kids don’t make a link with the black people they see in class or in the street everyday.”

    Van Bellingen hit international headlines in 2007 when three local couples refused to allow the newly elected black councilor to officiate at their weddings. {snip}

    After complaints from immigrant groups, efforts have been made in The Netherlands to replace Black Pete’s blackface with rainbow-colored makeup, but such initiatives have had little success.

    Van Bellingen thinks banning the blackface would be counterproductive—he thinks it will simply fade away.

    “I’m convinced that Zwarte Piet will disappear. People say it’s part of Europe’s heritage, but Europe is changing, becoming more [diverse]. . . . In 20 years, Zwarte Piet will no longer be an image we see in Europe.”



    Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet.
    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives...he_belgian.php

    [/quote]

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    People say it’s part of Europe’s heritage, but Europe is changing, becoming more [diverse]. . . .
    Man, don't you guys just love trading our heritage and ancient traditions for the opportunity to become diverse??

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    The word "diverse" is typical of the verbiage the jewish media and frankfurt school subversives use to twist reality to suit their agenda. "Confused" or "corrupted" must replace this pied-piperish euphemism in our discourse.

    But really, should any element in our traditions include a negro? I say exile black Pete to Africa with the rest of them if they feel so offended by our customs. Elves are much better.. and you never hear of one being offended, either.

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    You know I am getting sick about it. If he knew anything about the history of Black Jack he would know it has nothing to do with racism.

    If you go for a Germanic origin it has nothing to do with Negro's. But it was originally :

    1. Swap Ghosts
    2. The shadow army of Wodan
    3. members of an initiatory warrior society that conducted night-raids while camouflaged totally black, also linked with 2 in the sense they played out the role of the shadow-army during celebrations


    If you go with the Christian explanation, I remember a story about the original Bishop has bought free a negro held as a slave by someone else. And in gratitude the negro became his servant.

    And most who complain about this here in the Netherlands are not the blacks, but those on the far-left. Even in Suriname, our former colony, the blacks do not find it problematic.


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    We Dutch just like to have racist parties and racist saints......


    Come on people, even I know (being a self confessed racist), there is nothing racist about "Sinterklaas".

    Negroes think it s racist though.

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    It's a cultural thing. Until they learn to accept my culture, then I just might think about accepting theirs (NAAAAAHHHH!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edoric View Post
    It's a cultural thing. Until they learn to accept my culture, than I just might think about accepting theirs (NAAAAAHHHH!)
    Well, it isn t a matter of choice anymore...It's a matter of debate. Thats the sad thing.

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