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Friday, 11 July 2014

Zwarte Piet Is Blauw Piet

Zwarte Piet is the black companion of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch) in the folklore of the Low Countries .... although it has to be said that he is a comparatively new 'folklore', the character being created in the 1850 book 'Sint Nikolaas en zijn Knecht ("Saint Nicholas and his Servant")', by Jan Schenkman. Still folklore is folklore, and so for over 100 years the character helped St Nick judge whether little boys and girls were deserving of Christmas presents.

He does this by listening at chimney pots for children's behaviour, which is possibly a throw back to earlier times when Wodan's Wild Hunt rode forth, and his two black ravens listened at smoke holes, to tell Wodan about the good and bad behaviour of the mortals.

Although similar to other such companions of Saint Nicholas in Belgium, Hungary, France, Germany, and Wallonia, the difference, is why all the fuss is being generated .... in Holland the actors put on blackface make-up and colourful Renaissance attire, in addition to curly wigs, red lipstick and earrings.
 
Sint Nikolaas en zijn Knecht


Needless to say, this has led to the PC brigade attacking the character even though
according to a 2013 survey, 92% of the Dutch public don't perceive Zwarte Piet as racist, or associate him with slavery, and 91% are opposed to altering the character's appearance ..... but then the PC brigade are not actually democrats are they?

So here we are with an anti racist group led court action pending, and sadly, the usual weaker groups who, despite the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a long time defender of the Zwarte Piet tradition, stating that "It is an old Dutch children's tradition" .... have capitulated with barely a fight, and painted 'Black Pete' blue. The BBC have reported that the Amsterdam regional court, perhaps unsurprisingly has decided that Zwarte Piet is a "negative stereotype of black people", duh, really?

Zwarte Piet Is Blauw Piet

Of course this wouldn't be a race story if the BBC didn't have their own take on the issue of 'Black facing', so it was no surprise that they ran a story on 'Is it always racist to black up your face?' .... this after some (white) German football fans were seen 'Blackfaced' in Brazil, before the World Cup game against Ghana.

However the moral outrage of the story was somewhat watered down, and lost some considerable amount of steam, when someone posted a pictures of a Ghana fan at the game ....

Sorry, Which One Is Being The Racist Again?
 
..... oh irony, where is they sting.

2 comments:

  1. ...and is the guy, next to the 'black racist', being blondist and gingerist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no stopping some people .... where are the PC police when you need them? Oh hang on, trick question ... you nearly got me there! He can't be an 'ist' ... only white males can be 'ists'.

      Delete

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