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Friday, December 5, 2014

Sint Niklaas (Saint Nicholas)

For a lot of little children, tonight will be a night full of expectation and anxiety. Because tomorrow morning the Holy Saint will bring presents and chocolates to those who have been good...

Now in Holland there is a big controversy about the  Saint's helper, Piet. Piet (or Peter in English) is traditionally represented as a black guy. But not black in the sense of being of African descent, no he's black because he has to climb through lots of chimneys to drop the presents.

Some people can't understand that. They accuse Nicholas of being a racist and they threaten to disrupt lots of events where Nicholas and Piet will make an appearance.

We Belgians have to laugh about this. In our country there is no problem with Piet wearing black shoeshine on his (or her) face. Even colored people willingly act as Piet. Because this has nothing to do with racism, but with tradition.

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