Sinterklaas is arriving on his steam boat this afternoon, my dd can't wait she is going to dress as Zwarte Piet keeps telling me how excied she is. The first time I encountered sinterklaas and Zwarte piet I did find it all a bit strange especially the blacking of Zwarte Piet.
Oh ffs legosaurus don't pour cold water on what has to be one of the sweetest traditions for kids ever in that corner of the world. I have such fond memories of Sinterklaas. I am in no way a racist and neither is anyone in my family. My grandfather was staunchly, absolutely 100% anti-racism, as we all are, but he was very vocal about it.
Some of those counter responses are weak and frankly bizarre "let's not go off topic", but isn't that how a lot of people win arguments, by pointing out their opponents' hypocrisy? How can I have been subconsciously taught to be a racist when I present no outward manifestations of it (which is what racism is about- I'm counting thoughts and attitudes in that, not just actions). "It's xenophobic to think that criticism is coming from outsiders" is this for real? are you kidding? "Traditions change with the times"
I must admit I did find it strange why people were blacked especially as there many black people living in the Netherlands,but I have never gotten the impression that black people living here consider it racist. I certainly bnever started this thread to talk about racism.
One thing I have repeatedly been told is that if you live in a country you need to assimilate and by celebrating Sinterklaas with my dd and ds I am trying to do that by taking part in Dutch culture. There arelots of things about the Netherlands I don't like but I didn't start a thread to have a whinge about the country I choose to livein it is supposed to be light hearted.
quirrelquarrel, you think you are not being racist. You keep telling yourself that. You are doing the classic defensive knee-jerk reaction. I am not accusing YOU of being a racist. I am merely pointing out that you are perpetuating very offensive racist stereotypes and that there is something deeply disturbing about teaching children that blackface and ''slave niggers in wigs'' are an amusing spectacle at Christmas time.
I shall now leave this thread as I do not want to continue what I knew would be a futile exercise in trying to point out the obvious to people deeply in denial.
I saw lots of friends talking about the sint's arrival in Antwerp at the weekend. Felt very nostalgic for those days. We have plenty of other traditions here for the kids to enjoy, but the Sint, and sinterklasjournal was something really special.
Fine, I'm "deeply in denial". I'll continue treating all people I meet equally and with the respect I believe they deserve, and I'll keep my happy family memories, if that's what "denial" is all about. It's the intention that counts, that's all.
Oh, honestly. You think you can't implicate someone who loves the tradition while you're going on about collective guilt? Don't tell me you're suddenly averse to confrontation? Yes, you are calling me a racist, because anyone who stands by and doesn't say something about it and encourages racism- as you say, "perpetuates very offensive racial stereotypes" is racist. Don't patronise me by trying to characterise my reaction.
My little one had a whale of a time on Saturday, but I'm afraid I agree with lego in the sense that Piet is outdated - how many of you would object to golly dolls in England? The Piets are the same horrible old colonial view. Can Sinterklaas not just have helpers without the blackface and acting the twit? I don't think all the people waving and smiling in Roermond on Saturday are racists, but I do believe the Piet concept itself is. It's impossible in my experience though to discuss this at all rationally with most Dutch people, that infuriating shrug and blank look thing they can all do takes over.
We did the shoe thing with the grandparents on Saturday night, she loved it, we'll do a couple more and then do the pakjesavond on the nearest weekend to the 5th with the whole family, it's always fun, but it can be done without blacking up the kids faces you know.
Seriously I find it hard enough living here without arguing with the Dutch about their customs. Unfortunately I think it takes living away from your country to really see things from other peoples perspectives.
Well Sinterklaas visited my dd's school last leaving chocolates in her shoe that she had made, Zwarte Piet on the other hand messed up the class room and drew love hearts on the windows not to sure about this, greta that Sinterklaas visited by why did Zwarte Piet have to be naughty.