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View Diary: Top Comments: Sinterklaas in Holland and the controversial Zwarte Piet (57 comments)

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  •  It Makes Total Sense (4+ / 0-)

    First, Zwarte Piet isn't supposed to be black or African.

    He is the same character as Krampus, the beast that accompanies St. Nicholas on his trips through Germany, Austria and Central European countries.

    Zwarte Piet is part of a long pre-Christian tradition in Germanic cultures.

    The "blackface" is not dark skin -- it's soot. In Switzerland, these figures are called schmutzli.

    This doesn't have anything to do with slavery or contemporary black Dutch people.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:31:21 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you bink (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, this is the argument that is presented and why the Dutch see nothing untoward about the Zwarte Piet. However, black face is a seriously touchy subject for the people of color living in the Netherlands as I'm sure you can imagine. It has been proposed that the Pieten streak their faces with soot rather than wear all out black face. That idea seems to be getting some traction.

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