Sinterklaas is very welcome in Dutch households and his friend Zwarte Piet also. That says an overwhelming majority of participants in The Issue.
They are a little tired of discussing the alleged racist character of the painting childs friend. No more Zwarte Pieten in the Sinterklaas songs and no more in the shop windows; there is a campaign to turn the neck of a fun childrens party, says Ottiliahoogeslag: “I am very sorry that more and more traditions are being destroyed. The Netherlands is not only a screaming activist minority in the Randstad, but mainly consists of hardworking people outside. The opinions, feelings and traditions of these Dutch people are less and less taken into account. No Piet seen this year, also not on television. The exciting and mystical of the Pites is no longer there. I find that a pity…”
This responder says not only: “Zwarte Piet is no longer allowed, people get hurt by it. Ritual slaughter may even be, despite the fact that many have been hurt by that, it may even be queasy. We are not normally allowed to fire fireworks outside New Years Eve, Chinese are allowed to do this, that is their tradition. But their traditions seem to be more important than our traditions,” writes Absurdo.
Former Sinterklaas Roel den Dulk argues in his opinion story that the power of the party is not in the colour of the Piet.
He finds few supporters, but Doupower still wants to indicate the nuance: “I am also really for Zwarte Piet. Fantastic memories of. But the people with racist traits who abuse Zwarte Piet to hurt and belittle the dark fellow man by making them out for Zwarte Piet and feel better than dark people, these are the real murderers of the party. Its not crazy that these people are a little tired of it, is it?” That is indeed not surprising, says Ramonçito, but “then you have to tackle these people, not our party that is separate from it!”
Others have less patience with that screaming minority that Zwarte Piet finds racist and therefore rather sees the whole figure disappear. That minority has succeeded quite well, says Michellange1962: “The Saint Nicholas Festival is simply destroyed by a small minority who sees things that are not there at all.” And, says Peer: “The Sinterklaasfeest is ruined by our immigrant vrinden, whom we received so hospitably in the Netherlands. Thank you very much for your respect for our culture.”
Because of the focus on the negative, the pleasure disappears into the background, Jokeduprie thinks: “I think this party will change, which I find very sorry. I myself have also been a few times Zwarte Piet and that was so wonderful to do with the children, who were so enthusiastic. I have always done it with a lot of pleasure and I would be very sorry if it disappears altogether.”
That there is at all a problem with the figure Zwarte Piet amazes Ghosthunter: “Amazing that people who have been painted black for years around this time now suddenly see Zwarte Piet as racist. Just because a couple of professional sufferers feel “victim “? If it goes on like this, we can stop all the traditions. Everyone is a victim of something, regardless of skin color or gender. For Zwarte Piet the door just opens.”
Speaking of other traditions, where does this end? According to Phijsse not at Zwarte Piet: “If your country is filled with many currents, cultures and lifestyles that cannot be unified, then indeed much is destroyed, in addition to norms and values and folk customs. And that is exactly what is going on here: other customs are being imposed or one gives a stitch to achieve that.”
Struving is also afraid of even more pressure on other traditions: “Well see what they come up with when Zwarte Piet is gone.” White Rabbit thinks he knows: “Sinterklaas is over; destroyed. New Years Eve is already broken, and Christmas will soon be too. In record time.” D_Muyzert is less negative about the future of the Delicious Evening:” Let Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet always stay, if necessary adapted to the time. We should not let it go lost just because a certain part of the population sees everything and everything in it. They should know that for themselves. Its a childrens party and it has to stay.”
Awkat Hoppa, according to their own words import , agrees: “I came to live and live in the Netherlands because I wanted a better life. And yes: that includes adapting to Dutch society, called integration. I think Sinterklaas and those Zwarte Pieten really something Dutch, a very nice Dutch childrens party. My girlfriend and Ijust participate in these Dutch traditions. Why would you want to be against this, a fun and cheerful childrens party? I would like to say to people who do not want to adapt to Dutch society: why did you come to live here in the Netherlands? Adjust, that makes life a lot finer than all those activist riots and protests.”
A number of responders are especially angry because nothing is done against the erosion of the Sinterklaas festival. Sjekkie for example: “We stand there and we look at it and we let it all happen. We type a message and then our conscience is quenched again. But if no action is taken against Akwasi and those kind of figures, they will be in charge in our once beautiful Netherlands!”
White and brown
And yet, there is still hope, writes the already mentioned Absurdo: “Yesterday, Saint Nicholas, accompanied by the marching band, arrived in our village. He rode on his horse through the village with a horde of soot black Pieten around him. I saw kids on the side of the road getting a handful of sweets, shimmering faces and smiling and singing along parents and grandparents. White and brown. That is and will remain for me the Santa Claus feast.”
Finally, a story about Sinterklaas can not be without a poem, this time by Boertje:
The quarter falls but not,
without Zwarte Piet
no real Sinterklaas, unfortunately
by one such piece of grief.