Zwarte Piet is the companion of Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas, West Frisian: Sinteklaas, Luxembourgish: Kleeschen, Indonesian: Sinterklas) in the folklore of the Low Countries. Why blackface is still part of Dutch holidays The debate over Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), explained. While it may seem similar to what you know, Christmas is not about Santa Claus and reindeer in the Netherlands. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Dwight Schrute had suggested a Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas themed office party (Picture: Byron Cohen/NBC/NBU Photo Bank) ... ‘Blackface is unacceptable and … He is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. The removal is the latest example of Hollywood re-evaluating episodes featuring characters in blackface. The Dutch public broadcaster has announced that it will change the appearance of the traditional Christmas season character Black Pete, whose … More than half of young people between 18 and 25 thought the character’s appearance should change. Why the Dutch Holiday Tradition of Blackface Won't Go Away Every year, Dutch and Belgian people celebrate Christmas by donning blackface, despite increasing outcry over the practice. Cities and towns host parades featuring hundreds of white people dressed in Blackface as Piet. Here's How, Japan Celebrates 20-Year-Olds With Massive Annual Party, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. Those portraying Zwarte Piet usually put on blackface and colourful Renaissanceattire in addition to curly wigs and bright red lipstick. Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’s helper, has traditionally been portrayed by adults wearing gaudy costumes, large gold earrings, afro-style wigs, red lipstick and full blackface makeup, a characterisation critics say is a racist reference to slavery. The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day, the tradition that may have seeded the idea for Santa Claus in the first place) on December 5, and it is this day that Dutch children get excited about. The Netherlands' Controversial Blackface Christmas Tradition People dressed as the character known as Zwarte Piet or Black Pete arrive on a boat with Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) Nov. 24, 2018, in Katwijk, Netherlands. The Netherlands has a long, North Sea coastline. The Office is the latest classic sitcom to have a controversial scene edited out on streaming services. They also receive most of their presents on Sinterklaas. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. According to folklore, Black Pete is Moorish, originally from Spain, who helps the Dutch Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, distribute Christmas gifts to children. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2021 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. After years of debate and at times violent protest, this year’s Christmas-season Saint Nicholas parade in the Netherlands will not feature white people in blackface makeup, the public broadcaster that organises the event has said. SH By Christophe Haubursin Updated Dec 6, 2017, 12:57pm EST “30 Rock” creator Tina Fey asked for … In the Netherlands, this Christmas season was ushered in with festive parades, gift-giving, and protests over a character in blackface. Polls show support for the traditional Piet is strong, but fading: in 2013, 89% of the Dutch favoured blackface, a figure that had fallen to 68% by 2017. By Dylan Matthews Updated Dec 21, 2015, 3:23pm EST Share this story. After years of debate and at times violent protest, this year’s Christmas-season Saint Nicholas parade in the Netherlands will not feature white people in blackface … The Office creator Greg Daniels has cut a scene featuring blackface from an episode of the show. Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. In Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas has a “helper” named Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” who usually appears as a blackface character with large gold earrings and exaggerated lips. Funerals Have Changed Since the 1960s. The act of dressing in blackface stems from the Sinterklass holiday which takes place on December 5th each year. It shares an eastern border with Germany and a southern border with Belgium. Many Dutch, however, strongly defend the traditional Piet, arguing that his face is black only because of soot from the many chimneys he has had to climb down to bring presents to excited children on 5 December. In recent years, the controversy has drawn protests and counter-protests, sparking vandalism, violence and even convictions for incitement to racial hatred. Late Night writer Amber Ruffin points out the racist nature of Holland’s "Black Pete" Christmas tradition. Can Ellis Island help track down your genealogy? In Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas has a “helper” named Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” who usually appears as a blackface character with large gold … “This is a victory for everyone who strives for an inclusive parade that will delight all children. In 2017, Zwarte Piet defenders blocked a motorway to stop opponents reaching the parade, and last year there were brawls, egg-pelting and arrests in Eindhoven. It focuses on Dwight Schrute’s (Rainn Wilson) attempts to get his coworkers at Dunder Mifflin excited about celebrating a traditional Schrute Family Pennsylvania Dutch … In 2015, the Dutch government said it would reflect on the character after a report from the UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination said its portrayal “reflects negative stereotypes of people of African descent and is experienced by many people of African descent as a vestige of slavery”. Traditionally, Zwarte Piet is black because he is a Moor from Spain. Wearing blackface is a big part of Dutch Christmas. ‘Zwarte Pieten’ in Hoorn, north-western Netherlands, in 2013. public broadcaster that organises the event has said, said Jerry Afriyie of Kick Out Zwarte Piet. Last year, in response to growing protests by anti-racism campaigners, NTR introduced a mix of sooty and blackfacePieten for the parade, saying it “respected both tradition and change” but felt it had to “reflect changes in society”. It was aimed at his sidekick, Black Pete – whose appearance in blackface, a curly afro wig and red lipstick divides the country on an annual basis. These thin, crunchy cookies are laced with a handful of delicious spices that give them a … The Zwarte Pieten, or Black Petes, who accompany Sinterklaas in the annual televised parade, which this year takes place in Apeldoorn on 16 November, will instead have sooty faces, the broadcaster said, in what it called “a logical next step”. When I moved back to the US after living in the Netherlands for nearly four years, my American friends were often confused about the European nation about half the size of Maine, so here is a quick overview:. “The national arrival of Sinterklaas is the big one, but there are other, local ones,” he said. The character first appeared in an 1850 book by Amsterdam schoolteacher Jan Schenkman. “We will fight for change.”. We want the tradition to continue for thousands of years – but adapted to the times.”, Afriyie pledged to continue the fight against Zwarte Piet in blackface until the figure had disappeared completely. If you work in a Dutch company, you will most likely receive the annual kerstpakket. Speculaas. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. The scene then cuts to Nate approaching the office as Zwarte Piet, including blackface, before receiving Dwight's text and turning around — which is the brief portion that has been edited out. In recent years, the character has become the subject of … Kerstpakket. Here are some things I noticed while watching The Office on Netflix late one recent night while working on a cross stitch project:. On the face of it, it's obvious why many outsiders find the Dutch Christmas-time figure of "Zwarte Piet" -- or Black Pete -- to be shockingly racist. … According to The Wrap, the show's creator … Dutch activists protest blackface Christmas character Black Pete. “Today is a beautiful, historic day,” said Jerry Afriyie of Kick Out Zwarte Piet, who has been campaigning against Zwarte Piet since 2008. Recently, the traditional black-faced character has been the subject of debate as to whether it is racist or not. 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