Dymphna wrote a couple of years ago about the efforts of the city of Vienna to ban St. Nicholas from kindergartens at Christmas time. As a part of her post, she mentioned Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of St. Nicholas, who is generally accompanied by his servant Zwarte Piet, or “Black Peter”.
Zwarte Piet is absolutely politically incorrect in these days of High Multiculturalism, so it’s only a matter of time before the people of the Netherlands are forced to kiss him good-bye.
Elsevier has a report on the latest effort to abolish Black Peter. Our Flemish correspondent VH has kindly translated the article for us, and follows it with his commentary:
Modern Art Museum wants Dutch “Black Peter” tradition abolished
In the Van Abbemuseum this weekend an exhibition opens opposing the Zwarte Piet (“Black Peter”) phenomenon. This typical Dutch tradition is “full of racism and colonialism and must disappear,” two foreign artists and the Doorbraak [“Breakthrough”, an extreme militant leftwing group — translator] activist organization say.
The museum in Eindhoven wants this exhibition to reopen the discussion about a “cultural tradition that is made politically neutral and is included in the collective mind of Dutch society.”
The two artists, Petra Bauer from Sweden and Annette Krauss (from Germany, living in the Netherlands), see the Sinterklaas festival as the “colonial relationship between the old, wise, and strict white boss and ‘good saint’ on the one hand, and the young, quite naughty, stupid black servant Piet on the other, who dances childishly, jumps around like a fool, and has insufficiently mastered the Dutch language.”
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They wonder whether it is possible to reopen the debate about the Zwarte Piet tradition. “It is difficult to discuss this in the Netherlands, because many people want keep the tradition alive.” They say the two were much criticized because they themselves are not Dutch and therefore don’t understand the tradition very well.
During the opening of the exhibition Be(com)ing Dutch a protest rally will be held under the leadership of Doorbraak. This club organized “noise-protests” during meetings of Rita Verdonk’s Trots op Nederland [“Proud of the Netherlands”].
The exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven can be visited until September 14.
Commentary by VH:
Doorbraak (Breakthrough) is a nationwide organization against racism and immigration control. In 2007 they crashed a private gathering in Amsterdam that concluded the Michiel de Ruyter Year. They said De Ruyter’s military expeditions supported Dutch colonialism and the slave trade. Michiel de Ruyter, a famous 17th century Dutch Admiral is according to Doorbraak a “colonial fighter-bully”. Doorbraak claims to be “an organization by and for young people dealing with the history and current situation of black people in the Netherlands”.
The Doorbraak representatives involved in the “Abolish Zwarte Piet” exhibition and rally are:
- Harry Westerink, who is part of the Fabel van de illegaal (the Chimera of the illegal) a strongly left-wing oriented organization from Leiden. Founded in 1990 the Fabel’s ideology is to establish a free-socialistic, feminist, and ecologically sustainable society.
- Jos Hooijmeijer, squatter: “By doing something that is illegal you break out of that daily drag and discover you can shape your life yourself, and it even gets you a house.”