SWARTE PIET crazy christmas tradition!

youngEINSTEINyoungEINSTEIN 2,443 Posts
edited December 2005 in Off Topic (NRR)

this tradition always bugs me out! swart piet (black pete) is santas servant that does all his work for him and kids are scared of him because as the tradition goes if you are a bad kid he takes you away in that bag. peace, stein. . .
«13

  Comments


  • The Raise UpThe Raise Up Golden Years... wah wah wah 452 Posts
    This is a Swedish holiday also?

    Maybe you got it mixed up a little, this is a christmas-type holiday in the Netherlands (where I live) on december 5th where 'Sinterklaas' (not to be confused with santa claus) gives presents to kids, helped by his 'zwarte pieten'. Indeed, it's a pretty bad look, but whenever I bring it up I get laughed at by people here saying that it's got nothing to do with slavery and that it's an innocent holiday.

  • This is a Swedish holiday also?

    Maybe you got it mixed up a little, this is a christmas-type holiday in the Netherlands (where I live) on december 5th where 'Sinterklaas' (not to be confused with santa claus) gives presents to kids, helped by his 'zwarte pieten'. Indeed, it's a pretty bad look, but whenever I bring it up I get laughed at by people here saying that it's got nothing to do with slavery and that it's an innocent holiday.
    you are right. i got it mixed up because i was told about it by swedish guys! oh yeah. i was told he is black because he got stuck in the chimney. peace, stein. . .

  • chasechase 767 Posts
    so its a guy in black face?

  • yeah. as i was told its supposed to be portrayed by a white guy? i.m not 100% sure you can find loads of debates on the nets. peace, stein. . .

  • The Raise UpThe Raise Up Golden Years... wah wah wah 452 Posts
    This is a Swedish holiday also?

    Maybe you got it mixed up a little, this is a christmas-type holiday in the Netherlands (where I live) on december 5th where 'Sinterklaas' (not to be confused with santa claus) gives presents to kids, helped by his 'zwarte pieten'. Indeed, it's a pretty bad look, but whenever I bring it up I get laughed at by people here saying that it's got nothing to do with slavery and that it's an innocent holiday.
    you are right. i got it mixed up because i was told about it by swedish guys! oh yeah. i was told he is black because he got stuck in the chimney. peace, stein. . .

    Yeah, that's what they tell me, I wonder how his lips are still thick red though and his clothes all clean if he fell through a chimney.

  • This is a Swedish holiday also?

    Maybe you got it mixed up a little, this is a christmas-type holiday in the Netherlands (where I live) on december 5th where 'Sinterklaas' (not to be confused with santa claus) gives presents to kids, helped by his 'zwarte pieten'. Indeed, it's a pretty bad look, but whenever I bring it up I get laughed at by people here saying that it's got nothing to do with slavery and that it's an innocent holiday.
    you are right. i got it mixed up because i was told about it by swedish guys! oh yeah. i was told he is black because he got stuck in the chimney. peace, stein. . .

    Yeah, that's what they tell me, I wonder how his lips are still thick red though and his clothes all clean if he fell through a chimney.
    good one! peace, stein. . .

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,513 Posts
    OH SHIT,

    ok, im a (white) New Zealander living in Amsterdam with my (white) Dutch wife.
    ive been here for going on 6 years now and every xmas, the Dutchies bring out the swarte Pieten and have no problem with white people donning blackface (!!!) and this is a totally accepted part of dutch culture. My first response was one of disbelief and anger, YOU WHAT!? hell, my offer to pay for the flight for any white Dutch person to put on blackface and dress up as swarte piet and do it in Auckland NZ is open (although im sure a NY flight is cheaper). The official line on this offensive practice is that the original Sint lives in Spain (!?!) and brings his 'helpers' with him to distribute presents throughout the land. these black helpers are not a representation of black people at all, nooo, its all fine, they are Moors, you see they got black from climbing down the chimneys. Does this explain the fact that until the 1950s these 'helpers' were known as slaves? NO. does this explain why the swarte Piet costumes include BIG RED LIPS and AN AFRO? NO. "oh but stop it, you dont understand, its tradition" you know what else is tradition around the world? burning crosses, forced marriages, suicide bombings etc, just because something is tradition does not make it ok. this from a country that played a major role in slavery. Now before you think im all anti-dutch, im not, i love it here, but every xmas i get into it with fucking racist swarte piet and now i have a 5 month old son, i have told the inlaws that swarte piet is out of the picture as far as my kid goes, they look at me like "he hates xmas".
    On tv RIGHT NOW a is a kids program that involves 3 white men in blackface dancing. in shop windows all over the country swarte piet dolls are hanging.

    This is the 21st century people.
    ahhh shit, now im all worked up again.

    here is a photo i took last week in a store in Amsterdam, Yay, its Christmas.




  • nzshadownzshadow 5,513 Posts
    Oh yeah, i forgot, the swarte pietens job is to walk alongside sint on his big white horse and beat the children with sticks, put them in a sack and take them away if they were bad.

    but David Sedaris explains it so much better.

    Welcome to Xmas Dutch style.

    http://maupi.textamerica.com/?r=3767843

  • chasechase 767 Posts


    this pic creeps me out.

  • The Raise UpThe Raise Up Golden Years... wah wah wah 452 Posts
    OH SHIT,

    ok, im a (white) New Zealander living in Amsterdam with my (white) Dutch wife.
    ive been here for going on 6 years now and every xmas, the Dutchies bring out the swarte Pieten and have no problem with white people donning blackface (!!!) and this is a totally accepted part of dutch culture. My first response was one of disbelief and anger, YOU WHAT!? hell, my offer to pay for the flight for any white Dutch person to put on blackface and dress up as swarte piet and do it in Auckland NZ is open (although im sure a NY flight is cheaper). The official line on this offensive practice is that the original Sint lives in Spain (!?!) and brings his 'helpers' with him to distribute presents throughout the land. these black helpers are not a representation of black people at all, nooo, its all fine, they are Moors, you see they got black from climbing down the chimneys. Does this explain the fact that until the 1950s these 'helpers' were known as slaves? NO. does this explain why the swarte Piet costumes include BIG RED LIPS and AN AFRO? NO. "oh but stop it, you dont understand, its tradition" you know what else is tradition around the world? burning crosses, forced marriages, suicide bombings etc, just because something is tradition does not make it ok. this from a country that played a major role in slavery. Now before you think im all anti-dutch, im not, i love it here, but every xmas i get into it with fucking racist swarte piet and now i have a 5 month old son, i have told the inlaws that swarte piet is out of the picture as far as my kid goes, they look at me like "he hates xmas".
    On tv RIGHT NOW a is a kids program that involves 3 white men in blackface dancing. in shop windows all over the country swarte piet dolls are hanging.

    This is the 21st century people.
    ahhh shit, now im all worked up again.

    here is a photo i took last week in a store in Amsterdam, Yay, its Christmas.





    Well said, it's really shameful, but whenever I bring it up here I get that same look as well and told to stop bitching cause it's just an innocent tradition. Fuck that. Oh and I'm born Dutch and feel like this even though I've been used to seeing this every year, I can only imagine how retarted this looks to people from outside of the country.

  • Well said, it's really shameful, but whenever I bring it up here I get that same look as well and told to stop bitching cause it's just an innocent tradition. Fuck that. Oh and I'm born Dutch and feel like this even though I've been used to seeing this every year, I can only imagine how retarted this looks to people from outside of the country.

    Well it would certainly spice up Christmas in the US, that's for sure.



  • this pic creeps me out.
    sorry that pic was from 1940. here is the modern day "black peter"

    peace, stein. . .

  • Uhhmmm... Guys...


    Zwarte Piet and the 900-year-old dude he works for, Sinterklaas, have nothing to do with christmas[/b]. It is a tradition that's culturally independant from it: Sinterklaas visits Holland once a year on his birthday (5 december) to give presents and candy to the good kids and "punish" the bad ones.

    This tradition has been around for at least 150 years, and while i totally agree w/ the fact that zwarte piet in his blackface is pretty inexcuseable, i find the tradition as a whole pretty harmless.

    bye.

  • Zwarte Piet and the 900-year-old dude he works for, Sinterklaas, have nothing to do with christmas[/b]. It is a tradition that's culturally independant from it: Sinterklaas visits Holland once a year on his birthday (5 december) to give presents and candy to the good kids and "punish" the bad ones.

    This tradition has been around for at least 150 years, and while i totally agree w/ the fact that zwarte piet in his blackface is pretty inexcuseable, i find the tradition as a whole pretty harmless.

    There is no place for research and facts here.


  • sorry

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,513 Posts
    Uhhmmm... Guys...


    Zwarte Piet and the 900-year-old dude he works for, Sinterklaas, have nothing to do with christmas[/b]. It is a tradition that's culturally independant from it: Sinterklaas visits Holland once a year on his birthday (5 december) to give presents and candy to the good kids and "punish" the bad ones.

    This tradition has been around for at least 150 years, and while i totally agree w/ the fact that zwarte piet in his blackface is pretty inexcuseable, i find the tradition as a whole pretty harmless.

    bye.

    True, but you cant help but recognise the similarity between SinterKlaas and Father Xmas plus the fact that the 2 holidays are in the same time period, this serves to confuse us allochtonen (immigrants).
    But i do see swarte pieten hanging on xmas trees...

    tradition....


  • [
    But i do see swarte pieten hanging on xmas trees...

    tradition....

    hanging on trees! thats an even worse look!
    peace, stein

  • LamontLamont 1,082 Posts
    I dressed up as zwarte piet/black pete many times when I was 17-20, it's a lotta fun: you get to throw candy to kids. You lot are just racially institutionalised and don't give a fuck about other traditions or fail to see the context. I can't remember a person of colour protesting against this tradition, only some white people have a problem with this.

    Swarte pieten hangin on trees ? Nobody made the connection but you and your holier than thou attitude, nobody ever hanged black people in Holland.

  • Swarte pieten hangin on trees ? Nobody made the connection but you and your holier than thou attitude, nobody ever hanged black people in Holland.

    I don't think that's what he meant, he was referring to hanging like a Christmas tree ornament.


  • nzshadownzshadow 5,513 Posts
    I dressed up as zwarte piet/black pete many times when I was 17-20, it's a lotta fun: you get to throw candy to kids. You lot are just racially institutionalised and don't give a fuck about other traditions or fail to see the context. I can't remember a person of colour protesting against this tradition, only some white people have a problem with this.

    Swarte pieten hangin on trees ? Nobody made the connection but you and your holier than thou attitude, nobody ever hanged black people in Holland.

    Wow, looks like someone gots their knickers in a twist. For the record homey, when i said hanging from trees i meant as in xmas decorations, but funny you should take it in another way.
    As for my racial institutionalism, well NO. you see, racial institutionalism is precisly what leads to a bunch of white people thinking its perfectly acceptable to put on blackface IN THE 21ST CENTURY. And here comes the familier traditions argument, go re-read my first post man.

    Then you mention context. OK, please drop some serious knowledge and explain to me in exactly which context is blackface acceptable? is it because you are handing out candy to kids? thus racially institutionalising them to believe blackface is acceptable?

    This leaves us with your profound argument that since no 'people of colour' protested then it must be ok. BRO, did it occur to you, that these 'people of colour' were RACIALLY INSTITUTIONALISED by people just like you?

    Look at the bigger picture man, just because you did it as a kid, and it is a so called tradition does not make it ok,
    the world turns, times change and part of being a civilised society is changing with the times, not hanging on to offensive, outdated 'traditions'.

    Merry Xmas.

  • I dressed up as zwarte piet/black pete many times when I was 17-20, it's a lotta fun:
    I can't remember a person of colour protesting against this tradition, only some white people have a problem with this[/b] .
    Wish you would come to the Bijlmer in the 80's and throw some candy at me.




  • Uhhmmm... Guys...


    Zwarte Piet and the 900-year-old dude he works for, Sinterklaas, have nothing to do with christmas[/b]. It is a tradition that's culturally independant from it: Sinterklaas visits Holland once a year on his birthday (5 december) to give presents and candy to the good kids and "punish" the bad ones.

    This tradition has been around for at least 150 years, and while i totally agree w/ the fact that zwarte piet in his blackface is pretty inexcuseable, i find the tradition as a whole pretty harmless.

    bye.



  • 'Sinterklaas' (not to be confused with santa claus)
    .

    This is in fact the same guy. Santa Clause is derived from Sinterklaas. The Sinterklaas tradition was brought to New-Amsterdam by the Dutch colonists a couple of hundred years ago, where his name became Santa Clause.

    The Coca Cola company used this character for Christmas and altered him and the tradition of "Sinterklaas". The use of Zwarte Pieten would be totally unexceptable in The United States and Great Britain, that's why the Elves replaced the Zwarte Pieten in American and British version of Santa Clause.

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,513 Posts
    'Sinterklaas' (not to be confused with santa claus)
    .


    This is in fact the same guy. Santa Clause is derived from Sinterklaas. The Sinterklaas tradition was brought to New-Amsterdam by the Dutch colonists a couple of hundred years ago, where his name became Santa Clause.

    The Coca Cola company used this character for Christmas and altered him and the tradition of "Sinterklaas". The use of Zwarte Pieten would be totally unexceptable in The United States and Great Britain, that's why the Elves replaced the Zwarte Pieten in American and British version of Santa Clause.

    But remain acceptable in The Netherlands... Why? Dutch people are, in general, a tolerant, down to earth lot.
    The fact that Sinterklaas was changed outside of The Netherlands yet remains the same here only makes matters worse.

    Really, im struggling with this, this is the 6th year in a row ive had to put up with this bullshit and my patience is wearing thin. Why is this acceptable?
    Someone?...

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,029 Posts
    I dressed up as zwarte piet/black pete many times when I was 17-20, it's a lotta fun: you get to throw candy to kids. You lot are just racially institutionalised and don't give a fuck about other traditions or fail to see the context. I can't remember a person of colour protesting against this tradition, only some white people have a problem with this.

    Swarte pieten hangin on trees ? Nobody made the connection but you and your holier than thou attitude, nobody ever hanged black people in Holland.

    Reality czech dude:

    "The Netherlands despite being a small country, lacking in natural resources, was able in the 17th Century to become the centre for European overseas trade, including the trade in human beings."

    "The Dutch West-Indische Compagnie (West India Company or WIC), was probably the largest single slave trader in history."

    "Amsterdam ranks as a European capital of slavery."

    http://www.antislavery.org/breakingthesilence/slave_routes/slave_routes_netherlands.shtml

    I'm not saying this has anything to do with Zwarte Piet but let's just chill with the "Holland's not racist." Like most European trading countries, the Dutch benefitted immensely from the African slave trade.

  • LamontLamont 1,082 Posts
    Maybe we both got our pantiehoses in a knot here ? Incidentally I'll be in New-Zealand next month, I don't intend to get angry at each and every thing I[/b] think is offensive to Maori people, because I'm not one of them and second and more important, I don't live in NZ. Maybe I will get offended but then I expect the Kiwi's to be bright and reasonable people who are living in the 21st century, anything I find offensive must be due to the context I don't understand yet.

    Sinterklaas has been bothering you for the last six years yet nobody for the past 50 years held a protestmarch against this tradition because they all were institutionalised ? Come on. Native Americans managed to erase some racist symbols because they had a valid argument.

    I'll be happy to admit we all are institutionalised and one of the great human traditions is racism which we'll never erase.

    Prettig Kerstfeest.


    PS macksteez extrapollate on that Bijlmer remark please.

  • nzshadownzshadow 5,513 Posts
    Maybe we both got our pantiehoses in a knot here ? Incidentally I'll be in New-Zealand next month, I don't intend to get angry at each and every thing I[/b] think is offensive to Maori people, because I'm not one of them and second and more important, I don't live in NZ. Maybe I will get offended but then I expect the Kiwi's to be bright and reasonable people who are living in the 21st century, anything I find offensive must be due to the context I don't understand yet.

    Sinterklaas has been bothering you for the last six years yet nobody for the past 50 years held a protestmarch against this tradition because they all were institutionalised ? Come on. Native Americans managed to erase some racist symbols because they had a valid argument.

    I'll be happy to admit we all are institutionalised and one of the great human traditions is racism which we'll never erase.

    Prettig Kerstfeest.


    PS macksteez extrapollate on that Bijlmer remark please.

    Firstly, I do live in Holland, (6 years remember) are my opinions less valid due to the fact that i am not a Dutch?

    Anything i find offensive is due to the fact that i do not understand it? in this case: TRUE. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why blackface is acceptable, why a tradition that is lets face it, racist, is accepted by people in this of all countries. You seem like an intelligent guy, so why cant you see how this is so wrong it is just absurd?
    Bro, do yourself a favour and google blackface. This is the context that i and other non-dutch see Swarte Piet, This is not good, as like i said, you guys are mostly a good lot, the Swarte Piet thing just dosnt make sense.
    Yes 6 years its been getting at me, mainly because the best argument someone can come up with is "its tradition".
    "Native Americans managed to erase some racist symbols because they had a valid argument" what? sorry dude, i dont understand this statement.

    i would never describe racism as a great human tradition, and it is attitudes like yours that will ensure that racism will never be erased.

    it is good to see that you will be travelling, its good for the soul and widens your perspectives.
    New Zealand is great, maybe when you are there you could try asking peoples opinions on blackface. (i wouldnt recommend you put it on and try handing out candy though).

    Hoe Hoe Hoes


  • Reality czech dude:

    "The Netherlands despite being a small country, lacking in natural resources, was able in the 17th Century to become the centre for European overseas trade, including the trade in human beings."

    "The Dutch West-Indische Compagnie (West India Company or WIC), was probably the largest single slave trader in history."

    "Amsterdam ranks as a European capital of slavery."

    http://www.antislavery.org/breakingthesilence/slave_routes/slave_routes_netherlands.shtml

    I'm not saying this has anything to do with Zwarte Piet but let's just chill with the "Holland's not racist." Like most European trading countries, the Dutch benefitted immensely from the African slave trade.
    Lets look at the context here though. The Dutch are known for their commercial cunning. The Dutch didnt actually invent slavery, they did however yield the best results. Sounds awful, is awful. But the Dutch back then found out if you put 100 slaves standing up in your ship about 50 will die. But if you put them in your ship while lying down, 400 will fit in, twice as much will die, but in the end you will still have 200 slaves. Obviously that is not something to be proud of. However look at the way livestock/meat is currently produced and treated. That happends in probably even worse conditions, might be 'just' animals but still shows a general lack of respect for (other forms of) life. For some reason only a minority of the people seems to care about the way their steak is 'produced', as its only 'cows'. Perhaps back then black people enjoyed the same attitude as cows 'enjoy' nowadays.

    But on Sinterklaas. I can understand it seems racist but its not all bad. Everybody creates his own truth and everybody preeches to its own church. Sinterklaas haters will only emphatise the fact that the zwarte pieten hit naughty kids with 'de roe' (a brunch of dead tree branches) and that they 'kidnap' them back to spain (in case of extreme naughtyness). But nobody mentions that de zwarte pieten also give candy to all the kids. And more importantly, buy, distribute and give all the gifts!

    People need to lighten up and take this tradition with a pinch of salt. Kids are not taught that black people should be helpers, etc. They are told the zwarte pieten are black because they go down the chimney, to bring them gifts.

    It's just a harmless holiday which brings joy and excitement to kids. A holiday which has become and is still a big part of life in Holland. Just like indian giver is a English/American saying, what about the background of that?

  • Maybe we both got our pantiehoses in a knot here ? Incidentally I'll be in New-Zealand next month, I don't intend to get angry at each and every thing I[/b] think is offensive to Maori people, because I'm not one of them and second and more important, I don't live in NZ. Maybe I will get offended but then I expect the Kiwi's to be bright and reasonable people who are living in the 21st century, anything I find offensive must be due to the context I don't understand yet.

    Sinterklaas has been bothering you for the last six years yet nobody for the past 50 years held a protestmarch against this tradition because they all were institutionalised ? Come on. Native Americans managed to erase some racist symbols because they had a valid argument.

    I'll be happy to admit we all are institutionalised and one of the great human traditions is racism which we'll never erase.

    Prettig Kerstfeest.


    PS macksteez extrapollate on that Bijlmer remark please.

    Excuse me for the late post.

    What I meant was that that type of bullshit wouldn't hang in the 80's when I was in my "angry black man"mode. Just kidding but you get my drift....



    It boggles my mind when white Dutch people try to bring in reason to something that's blatantly racist.Just because you don't see no protests means that people of color don't get offended?!! You've never will know how it feels when a child point a finger at you and call you Zwarte Piet. Watch television and hear Zwarte Piet speak with a Surinam accent.
    How did that happen ooh yeaah the chimney!!!

    This shit pisses me off every year. What I really do find funny is that guys like you don't see no harm in thisand probably never will.
    I'm a lil dude but correct me if I'm wrong but this site is some sort of a celebration of crate digging right? Mostly talk about albums from BLACK[/b] artists or a form of Black music.
    You don't see no problem because it is a holiday for children? There lies the problem!! These kids will grow up.
    I dont hate Sinterklaas just get rid of Zwarte Piet.

    For your reading enjoyment


    Piet op de Zwarte Lijst
    wiki

    for your viewing pleasure

    Jensen


    Scroll down and click on Tel Sell: Koop eens een zwarte Piet! (Buy a Zwarte Piet!

    Real funny man.

  • "oh but stop it, you dont understand, its tradition" you know what else is tradition around the world? burning crosses, forced marriages, suicide bombings etc, just because something is tradition does not make it ok

    I agree completely! However, and not to take this thread in another direction but, suicide bombings are not a "tradition."

    I understand the point you're making but just to set the record straight...
Sign In or Register to comment.