Time for Santa to wave "vaarwel" to Black Pete?

Comments (2)
EmKing2 wrote:

Thanks for this article! I am a black American married to a Belgian living in Belgium and it gets increasingly hard to explain “Zwarte Piet” to my kids and then get barraged by the “harmless” questions of their school chums at this time of year e.g. “do you know Zwarte Piet” , “are you his cousin”, “do you work for Saint Nicolas”? I actually dread Saint Nicolas Day because of it, and I do not take my kids to a mall to take a picture. The one time that my kids did see “Zwarte Piet” was at my office Christmas party for kids a couple of years back and you could hear a pin drop in quite a crowded room when my kid asked why there was a guy with make up (my boss) on to look like me. Haha. It’s 2012 and it’s not a defensible tradition, so definitely time to say bye bye.

Dec 04, 2012 10:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
pieman73 wrote:

Thank you for this article. I’m a Belgian living in the United States, married to an American, and we have three children. When we approached our first holiday season with our first born we talked about family traditions and how we wanted to proceed. It didn’t take long for me to realize how uncomfortable it would be to explain “Zwarte Piet” to my child, or how awkward it would be to have them at some point talk about “Zwarte Piet” at school. Not only is the tradition not commonly observed/celebrated in the U.S. but let’s be honest here and acknowledge the stereotypes and racism involved. The time to modify and update Sinterklaas is now, and not a minute sooner. Surely the culture can continue to celebrate the generous and gift-giving tradition of St. Nicholas without resorting to racism.

Dec 06, 2012 1:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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