Black Pete might turn Blue tonight

This years ‘pakjesavond’ might just be the night that Sinterklaas’ sidekick will turn blue instead of black. The statesnews station NOS predicts the coldest Sinterklaas-evening in 20 years! Luckily the Sint plays his part of being children’s best friend for many years now so it’s not the first time he has to endure this weather, with the coldest night reported 90 years ago when temperatures dropped to minus 11 degrees Celsius. 

Bye Bye Sinterklaasje

With Sinterklaas leaving the country tomorrow the cold weather leaves as well. The debate about the color of black pete on the other hand is about to cool off again now the celebration is over. This provides a whole year to recharge for a new episode of the debate about racism and cultural tradition. For those who have missed it, check out our video-report on the arrival of Sinterklaas in Leiden!

 

Traditions: win some lose some

Although it might sound too easy, I think black pete catching a cold today can be a practical solution. If all helpers of the Sint happen to turn blue this night we should be able to create a narrative within the period of nearly a year in which we explain our children the sudden change of skin color. This way we can end all racial elements at once and maybe claim back our position of having the most famous fictional blue character in the world after avatar took over this position from the smurfs.

So my advice would be to smurf those blackfaces blue and claim back the position that is traditionally ours so we can start enjoying Sinterklaas as it was meant to be in the first place. (kids stuffing themselves with candy and hoping for loads of presents)

Schaatsen (ice-skating)

The new hype after the Zwarte Piet debate? Ice-skating! Since temperatures will probably stay below zero degrees Celsius in most parts of the country and with the lowest temperatures predicted in the north of the country. This in combination with some previous cold nights brings the opportunity for ice-skating fanatic northerners to enjoy a full day on the ice. So if you’re looking for some ancient old Dutch tradition that’s not soiled by racial debate, pack your things and head to the north for some good old ice-skating!

Wintergezicht op Leiden. Door Jan Abrahamsz. van Beerstraten (1622-1666). Links de Waag

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