Sinterklaas 2016: Pieten in color the answer?

November 12, 2016

pieten-in-color pieten-protest





The controversy surrounding the Dutch tradition of having black Petes (Zwarte Pieten) as helpers of Sinterklaas was the subject of a lot of media attention during the last years (including this blog – Having just seen the Official Entree of Sinterklaas (believe it or not, broadcast live on Dutch television), I think that the solution I indicated in 2013 is being followed as there are now a lot of “Pieten” in different colors:

“The Sinterklaas celebration is a marvelous and unique event that enthralls kids enormously. It is very old (17th century, I believe) but the ‘black Pete’ helper was added only around 1850. In view of the sensitivity of a minority of Dutch citizens and that of a majority of world citizens (however much they misunderstand the issue) it would not be great disaster if there were some more changes to accommodate ill-feelings. After all,  few years ago the Dutch introduced women ‘black Petes’ – so why not another novelty: e.g. color them in a few different colors. In a decade from now nobody (especially small kids under 10 who are the only ones who believe in the good man!) will remember anything about all this history, the black color, the controversy.”  Quoted from:

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