“Everyone is equal to carnival.”

Carnival racist? Carnival shows that no matter who you are or what you look like, we are all equal, writes Vastelovond-fourder Ingrid Schouten-Minten.

Kick Out Zwarte Piet in Brabant and Limburg take action against carnival costumes that they say are hurtful, racist and stereotyping. They also find carnival a feast that applauds racism, sexism and transgender hatred and appropriates cultures and identities.

Born and raised in Roermond, Ive been celebrating carnival for 64 years. In my opinion, there is never one moment the thought or intention to celebrate the carnival party in one of these described ways. Dressed up with an Indian throw or cowboy hat, dressed as Chinese or Eskimo, no man who feels the true soul of carnival flowing into his blood will put on such a costume with one of the above intentions. On the contrary.

Apart from the fact that these types of costumes have long ceased to be the most popular during the carnival days, dressing up during todays carnival party is a sign of getting into the skin of another, not being yourself, without wanting to hurt and always with humor.

This shows that it doesnt matter who you are or how you look, were all the same.

Ingrid Schouten-Minten,