December 5, 2013

Why the Dutch Love 'Black Pete'

Arnon Grunberg, New York Times

AP Photo

Until recently, Black Pete was uncontroversial. Not because the Dutch are particularly racist, but because Sinterklaas, like the royal family, is sacred in the Netherlands, perhaps because of a dearth of other, specifically Dutch traditions. A matter, in other words, of conservatism. Such traditions are even more important today, given the view that, in order to safeguard the Dutch national identity, homegrown culture and folklore must not be tampered with — a view expressed primarily, though not exclusively, by the extreme right wing Party for Freedom, run by Geert Wilders.

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TAGGED: Christmas, Dutch, Zwarte Piet, Black Pete, Europe, Netherlands

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