Scandinavia and the World
Black Pete

Black Pete

In the Netherlands Saint Nicholas is a separate person from Santa, and like Santa has his elves, Saint Nicholas has his Zwarte Piet (Black Pete).

Dutch people will usually claim he is just covered in sod from the chimneys, but his clean clothes makes it pretty obvious Black Pete is inspired by a caricature of black people, but it should be noted that Black Pete is not supposed to be an African. It's more like a sort of magical being that has it's looks inspired by the caricature.

6th December 2012
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18 M
12 days ago #9336185        

When I was a child who still believed in Sinterklaas and black Pete, I never thought that black Pete was "the dumb person" or anything. And I'd think that if black Pete becomes forbidden and suddenly gets replaced by color Petes or something like that, children would only start to think black people are bad because they're not allowed anymore.

29 days ago #9329469        


29 days ago #9329361        

South Africa must fe cheated

1 month ago #9323711        

Blinded by political correctness? You ought to come over to America. The Libertarians would love you. In any case, I thought I made a reasonable statement. You can take it or leave it, I don't care either way.


1 month ago #9323631        

I'm sorry, but as a Dutch person I'm sick of all this debate and misunderstanding. This is the deal:

Originally, the people who lived here in pre-Roman times had a festival to celebrate the end of winter and the coming of spring. They would make offerings to the god Wodan (or Odin), and Wodan's son would look down their chimneys to check if they had made their offerings properly.

When Christianity came, local traditions were often included in the new dogma to make conversion easier. So, Wodan was changed into St. Nicholas, and his son was changed into a black servant with a nice suit. Hence, Zwarte Piet.

1 month ago #9323592        

@Ixion I have looked at your comment history, and it seems to me you are the type of person who thinks you are the only person on the internet who can think. You see it as your personal mission to let everyone know how wrong and ignorant they are and how right and informed you are. There are many places for people like you, this is not one of them. This is a place where people's nationality is their identity and where everything is about stereotyping and poking fun at cultures. And where people who aren't blinded by political correctness are willing to let a very-old-but-to-modern-eyes-very-offensive caricature slide.

1 month ago #9323491        

I think it goes without saying. If you don't know what's wrong with blackface, then I don't think there's anything I can say to change your mind, especially over the internet. Like I said, the Dutch are the ones who get to decide what happens with their culture. That's not up to me. But whenever I hear about this story there's always someone who tries to rationalize the racism somehow, saying that it's coal or dust from the chimney. It's racist, that's pretty much the end of it. From there it's up to your own moral judgement.

1 month ago #9323254        

@Ixion So what if it's blackface?

2 months ago #9322082        

It may be part of your childhood, but that doesn't make the fact that it's a blatant racist stereotype any less true. Whether or not the Dutch get rid of him is up to them, but don't play dumb and say, "he only looks like that because he's covered in soot!" Anyone with a brain can tell that it's blackface.


15 F
3 months ago #9304037        

@KOakaKO No, it was a joke. I had that same realization at like, 10 years old. :D

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