Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan has been told by a court in the capital to reconsider the licensing of the Sinterklaas parade through the city last year, which became mired in controversy because of the Zwarte Piet character. The administrative court says the mayor has six weeks to look again at the decision to allow the parade to go ahead last year and determine if the correct one was taken. The administrative court said in its ruling the Zwarte Piet character a negative stereotype which is insulting to black people and the mayor must decide which interest is more important: that of black Amsterdammers or society in general, news agency ANP reported.It's official: Zwarte Piet (previously) is a racist, negative stereotype according to the Amsterdam courts. [more inside]
"You know it’s that time of the year again in Holland, when you are greeted by some Dutch person on the street, whose face is painted completely black and is sporting an afro wig, bright red lips and a ridiculous clown-like costume. What is possibly more strange than this very sight, is the fact that many Dutch person finds it a completely normal and acceptable occurrence. Yes, Dutch people love their Zwarte Pieten." (previously, previously) Now combine them with Gangnam parodies and you have the latest Sinterklaas trend.
Most American elementary school kids will tell you about who they think Santa is friends with. Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, and the elves come to mind, as well as many of the Rankin-Bass characters that have become cultural institutions. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Make space on your mantle for Zwarte Piet and Krampus decorations! [more inside]