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In Holland, Santa Doesn’t Have Elves. He Has Slaves.

In Holland, Santa Doesn’t Have Elves. He Has Slaves.

The racist Christmastime tradition Dutch people have begun fighting about.

Two men dressed as Zwarte Piet for the Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas.

Two men dressed as Zwarte Piet for the Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas.
By |

As a newcomer to the Netherlands, I do many things wrong. I forget to bring gifts to dinner parties, I thank people too profusely, and often speak too personally with people I’ve just met. But no slip-up has provoked a more troubled response than when I’ve brought up my concerns about Santa Claus.

Here’s what concerns me: In Holland, Santa, or “Sinterklaas,” as he’s known to the Dutch, doesn’t have reindeer; he has a little helper named Zwarte Piet, literally Black Pete, who charms children with pepernoten cookies and a kooky demeanor while horrifying foreign visitors with his resemblance to Little Black Sambo. Each year, on Dec. 5, the morning before the feast of St. Nicholas, children all over the country wake up excited for gifts and candy while thousands of adults go to their mirrors to apply brown paint and red lips. In their Zwarte Piet costumes, they fill central Amsterdam and small village streets, ushering in the arrival of Sinterklaas who, in the Dutch tradition, rides a flying white horse.

Trying to tell a Dutch person why this image disturbs you will often result in anger and frustration. Otherwise mature and liberal-minded adults may recoil from the topic and offer a rote list of reasons why Zwarte Piet should not offend anybody. “He is not even a black man,” many will tell you. “He is just black because he came down the chimney.” Then, you may reply, why aren’t his clothes dirty?

As the history of Zwarte Piet makes clear, that chimney-soot explanation doesn’t wash. Zwarte Piet—or his immediate ancestor, anyway—was introduced in 1845 in the story “Saint Nicholas and his Servant,” written by an Amsterdam schoolteacher named Jan Schenkman. In the story, Sinterklaas comes from Spain by steamship bringing with him a black helper of African origin. The book was wildly popular and with it began the inclusion of Santa’s helper in Dutch Christmas festivities. (It wasn’t until later in the century that he was given the name Piet.)

At the time, the Dutch empire spread across three continents and included the colonies of Suriname and Indonesia. The Dutch were deeply involved in the slave trade, both transporting African slaves to be sold and using slave labor to work coffee and sugar plantations in their colonies. Minstrel shows were a popular form of entertainment.

Nowadays, Sinterklaas comes to Holland by steamship in mid-November of each year. He is played by a nationally beloved actor, and his arrival is a live televised event that kicks off the holiday season much like the Macy’s Day Parade in the United States. The city bestowed the honor of hosting Sinterklaas’ arrival changes each year.

Click to launch slide show.

This year, on Nov. 12, as Sinterklaas prepared to make his grand entrance in Dordrecht, Quinsy Gario was being held on the ground and pepper sprayed by police officers. Gario is a published poet and artist and a Master’s student in women’s studies at the University of Utrecht. He was born in 1984 in the former Dutch colony of Curaçao and raised in Sint Maartin. He went to Dordrecht last month wearing a homemade T-shirt stenciled with the words “Zwarte Piet is Racism,” an action that quickly led to his arrest—though when he later demanded to know why, no specific law was cited.

Gario came to the Netherlands with his mother for the first time in 1987. He says he never really noticed the Zwarte Piets during his first few years in the country, but one day his mother came home from work in shock because the receptionist had called her the office’s own “Zwarte Piet” as she entered the building. Ever since, the character has appeared throughout his poetry and artwork.

“I tell people, ‘I’m not angry. I just find it sad that you don’t know what it means and I’m here to tell you,’ ” he says. Gario began making T-shirts like the one he wore to Dordrecht and photographing people wearing them on the street and posting them to a Tumblr page.

Several weeks ago, as he stood among the crowds waiting for Sinterklaas in one of his T-shirts, Gario and a companion were approached by a police officer, who told them they would have to leave. When Gario asked for a reason, citing his freedom of speech, he says he was tackled to the ground. A video of the arrest shows Gario squirming on the pavement, repeating the words, “I didn’t do anything” as two officers hold him down.

He was pepper-sprayed and pushed into a doorway where an officer held him by the neck and rubbed the pepper spray into his eyes and nose. He was then taken into custody along with a researcher and a journalist who had accompanied them to record their presentation.

The Dutch often say they don’t have a problem with race. But the way Gario (and many others I talked to) see it, in the Netherlands, race is inextricably connected to immigration—something many Dutch people do openly have a problem with, as suggested by the rise of such politicians as Geert Wilders, who has expressed a deep distrust of immigrants and has called for closed borders. (Wilders was praised extensively by Anders Behring Breivik, the man behind the Norway terror attacks.)

Allochtoon is a Dutch word for immigrants and their descendants, which means, “originating from another country.” These outsiders are accused by Wilders and others of exploiting the country’s resources and social services while not integrating properly into Dutch society.

Gario is not the only artist and activist making an issue out of Zwarte Piet. In 2008, Petra Bauer and Annette Krauss organized a march as part of an exhibition exploring the meaning of Zwarte Piet. When the media caught wind of the exhibition, the artists received death threats, and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven canceled the march. Being Allochtoon, Bauer and Krauss were told they didn’t have a right to be offended by Zwarte Piet. Bauer and Krauss were shocked by how unwilling many people were to even discuss the issue. “Wilders brought our exhibit up in Parliament. He wanted to cut funding for the Van Abbemuseum for even allowing people to talk about it,” says Bauer. But Krauss says the cancelation of the march ended up being a good thing. “People who had never had said anything about Zwarte Piet started reaching out to us.”

Since the late 1960s, changes to the tradition have given the Zwarte Piets a more respectable and friendly position in Holland’s holiday theatrics. In 1968, Hoofdpiet was introduced—he is a leader in charge of all of the other Zwarte Piets—and, since that time, other Piets have been introduced as well: There is a Piet in charge of navigation, a Piet who wraps presents, and another Piet who is in charge of pepernoten cookies. Small changes in the outward appearance of the character have also been made: Earrings are no longer as common and wigs have become more curly in texture rather than coarse and frizzy.

In the past, Zwarte Piets often had a Surinamese accent and played the role of a bumbling fool. But now—during the major televised arrival of Sinterklaas, at least—one Hoofdpiet plans and organizes while another Piet acts silly, working the crowd that gathers in the streets and waits for Sinterklaas, who arrives in their wake, regally waving from his spot atop an all-white horse, wearing long cloaks and the stiff pointed hat of a bishop.

The awkwardness of this attempted shift toward a kinder, gentler Zwarte Piet is amusingly captured by David Sedaris in “Six to Eight Black Men,” first published in Esquire and collected in the book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. While the Zwarte Piets were once openly “characterized as personal slaves,” Sedaris writes, now they are described as “just good friends.”

I think history has proven that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet times beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility.

It’s possible that a period of mutual hostility has now come to Holland. In the past few weeks, news outlets like the left-leaning newspaper Volkskrant have begun to cover the subject with a flurry of opinion pieces. Earlier this week, Flavia Dzodan, an activist who was born in South America and lives in Amsterdam, spoke with Latoya Peterson, of Slate’s sister site The Root, about the racism of the Zwarte Piet figure. For the moment, at least, it looks as though Gario’s arrest has helped to enlarge the conversation he and others have been asking others to join for some time.

Photograph by Toussaint Kluiters/AFP/Getty Images.

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25 Responses to “In Holland, Santa Doesn’t Have Elves. He Has Slaves.”

  1. Isabelle Says:

    Hi,

    I’m from the Netherlands and I’d like to respond to this.
    As is said in the article, the Netherlands were involved in slavery. So was America. Now I can see that people who don’t know Sinterklaas and have never known him, that they might think it’s racism to have Zwarte Piet. I don’t agree with that.
    As I said, the Netherlands were involveld in slavery. However, this was ages ago. It doesn’t apply anymore. Zwarte Piet is not about being a slave, he is about being a friend and helping Sinterklaas, just like the elves help Santa. But that’s not called racism because they’re white. But what you are actually saying with that is that it’s OK to have white helpers, but not OK to have black helpers. Isn’t that racism on itself?
    In my opinion (and I think I’m talking on behalf of most dutchies) Zwarte Piet is just a helper, like the elves of Santa. He’s not seen as a slave by the Dutch, and he will never be seen like that. It’s ridiculous to imply that we’re still in one way or another involved in slavery. Beacause believe is or not, the Netherlands are a country who accepts all nationalities, and who’ll interact with all nationalities. And someone like Geert Wilders does have his purpose; it makes all the Dutch realise that we must be kind to all, include all and accept all. And most of all to NOT be like him.

    Kind regards,

    Isabelle

    P.S. Fun fact: Sinterklaas has nothing to do with Christmas, it is a holiday on itself!

  2. Jan Says:

    Think you have took the Sinterklaas celebration completely out of context. I understand your view as a outsider on this event. You easily can think it’s racist. The Dutch people don’t see it this way and they will never do. It’s just a party for children (for white, black, yellow children, everyone).

    Calling this party racict and protesting against it, will eventually make it racist. So protesting will have a negative effect on the view towards this event.

    So stop the complaining and let children enjoy the party. We don’t consider Santa Clause in the US as a racist party right? How must the midgets feel than?

  3. Thom Says:

    I find that some is writen in a populist manner, much like geert wilders accually. For some people our culture might indeed be offending for what it means to them. Don’t forget that many think of it differently and should the tradition be changes because it discomforts a few? Most did’nt agree with the disappearance of the negerzoen ( Kind of candy/ Negro’s kiss) and are affraid to lost this as well because we know it might offend people because of history. And the fact that we refer to black people as neger is’nt that good as well i guess. Why don’t we stop playing the victoms role? lets open up the discussion but do what most people want and not the ideology of a few.

  4. Lieve Says:

    First of all, you’re confusing Sinterklaas with Santa Claus. They are two different people, with their own holidays.

    Second, this discussion is brought up every single year. It tears me up every year. I can’t imagine there is a white Dutchie that considers the Zwarte Piet as being a slave (as we know it from Surinam or Indonesia). Also, the Zwarte Piet doesn’t really give the impression of being supressed or unhappy. I even dare to state that Sinterklaas would let a Zwarte Piet go, if he would want to persue a carrier somewhere else…
    On the other hand, I do understand that it is a painfull, loaded subject for the black community in Holland. I can imagine that it just reminds them of the sad, sad history. I don’t think it is up to the white community to decide in this issue. So lets just respect the wishes of the other party (without making Zwarte Piet purple as was suggested a few years ago)

    Last, I am really offended by you stating that many of the Dutch have a problem with immigrants. Define many please. Get your facts together: There are as much voters for Geert Wilders, as there are people who despice him. So, for your article this perpective served you well. Try to write it from the opposite perspective, and it would just not hold…

  5. dutch girl Says:

    hello,

    I just wanted to react cause this is part of my tradition. First its terrible to see thats someone get treated like that by the police, but i was wandering abit as well what happend before. It can by easily misleading like this as well, again the police is hitting on a black person, probably just because his color while we didnt see he pulled a knife. I am just saying…media can be misleading..

    It is however terrible that some people prejudge you because of your background and i know in many cases police react harder at you when you are not looking dutch (when you are not white..sorry to say that). And that is an terrible fact and i am gladly there are places where you can report such discrimination in holland. Hopefully one day it will not be needed anymore

    But , and its not ment for an excuse but to point something out, prejudices is something we all have. I know , i will tell you now, i am white and i probably dont know how discrimiation feels like, but i am a women so maybe i do a little. But what i see that everyone , despite there background has prejudices. I heard Moroccans talking about turkish, africans about other africans, Dutch people about immigrants. And i am not different, allthough i try not to judge ever cause i hate discrimination i cant help myself thinking “shit” when i am standing at a bus stop late at night when two “gangster” kind of types come over.
    That doesnt make it right offcourse. We do should be all aware of this as well. Aware of our own perjudices.

    And i am aware of our dutch background. Slavery is certainly not something to be proud off. History reveals a lot of black periods and slavery is one of them.

    But i wanna explain what sinterklaas (santa clause) has ment for me when i was a kid. I was something exciting, exotic as well cause he came all the way from spain and the zwarten pieten where looking different. I dint know people where not all black in spain. I didnt know anything about slavery. For me it was just a fairytell, something you believed in and a reason to behave good (cause otherwise you had to go with them to spain)and i still have such good memories singing and sitting close to the chimney, hopefull that you where getting some presents.

    Now i understand from which period it comes. But as well i understand off which period other believes and origins come from. the prohpet mohammed was really smart of telling woman to cover them self, cause in that time it was really dangerous for women and the possibily of getting raped by another tribe was present ( i still though have no problem with people covering themself up). I was his way to protect woman. marrying with children of 7/8 years old was looked at normal while now it fills many people with disguise. Probably you became women quite faster then now. Same as having more wifes, concubines etc. History belong more to men then women i suppose :-) Eating Kosher, halal is just a slaughter method and consider it as quite nice that you aks blessing for it but not that animal friendly we know now. Mutilation was ment for girls to became women and i dont believe it has any intends sexsually. But times change, what we know changes and that can give conflict. But i believe in every case we have to try to understand the period it came from and not immediatly judge cause its differnt. And sometimes we have to change our customs because of that.
    But in the case of sinterklaas that will give resistance. Offcourse Not because we think slavery is good thing but because it is part of our culture for so long. Its actually they only thing i consider as a really dutch festivity. And it doesnt give resistance within myself as well , i am not differnt in that as any other. The same as i understand why muslims feel resistence when people are judging them dutch people feel resistence. We are all human. Our society got more differce over the last 50 years and you try to keep with the things, customs you know. Sinterklaas is one of them

    I understand that sometimes things has to change but i am just wandering. Does it really offend people? Does it really offend people that the zwarte pieten are black?
    We use to have candy called Kiss of a Negro translated. Kind of rude probably but i used to love them. We where saying at primary school that if Negros kissed the same as that candy (chocolat with cream inside) we all wanted to kiss a negro. Then negro became a bad word and the name changed. It was discrmination. but what i am trying to say here is that i never saw it as something negative. rather as something positive because they where sooo good. If you wanna call me naief because of that thats fine but i just didnt grew up with racisme. I always learned to treat everyone the same..

    O and last, NO i dont vote Pvv, geert wilders, nore does one of my friends..:-)

  6. Maarten Says:

    Heey Jessica,

    Great search to prove your rights, but is that really usefull? If there is one tradition of all the people that live in Holland, even for the immigrants. Why making such a point on an childevent? The kids will be told that Zwarte Piet is not a slave, but that he is a helper from Sinterklaas. Are the Elfs not also helpers?

    By the way, why are you calling Wilders in one line with Anders Behring Breivik?? If you follow the news that good, then you must know that Wilders was really happy with his name. Wilders just want to make some points on a radical way. Not by promoting dicrimination, but to get attention. In a Dutch proverb: ‘chanching a mouse into a elephant.’ What means, making little things bigger than they are. What you do is racism, but than on an immigration way. I can say, change your thinking be Dutch, and you say, change your thinking be a ‘muggenzifter’(complaining about the little things that are wrong in life’.
    Oh wait, christmas is also an raccistic party, dwarffs that has to do what the Santa says and Santa is lauching about it: ‘HAHAHA!!’ Oh no they are calling them Elfs so there is nothing wrong.. Pretty stupid to complain about that.. So where is the rasicm you where talking about? I don’t see it in Sinterklaas.

    One small thing, I’ve never heard of the flying white horse.. The horse, calling to the name Americo, walks over rooftops. It is your imagination that the horse can fly.

  7. Pieter uit NL Says:

    So….. This whole article is a joke, right?

  8. Dutchie Says:

    This is really bullshit. It’s been a long tradition, and it will always be a tradition. I don’t know why people want to make racism of it.. maybe we should make Sinterklaas black too? It isn’t meant as rasism, so why would it be a problem?

  9. Dutchie Says:

    O, and Zwarte Piet definitely isn’t the slave of Sinterklaas. Also, Sinterklaas isn’t the Dutch Santa Claus. In Holland, we have Santa too, he’s called de Kerstman

  10. Tessa Says:

    First of all: You know that black people in africa were selling each other as slaves even before the Dutch came along and thought ‘hey, that’s an interesting trade, let’s sell them to americans because they need slaves.’? (Look it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery)
    (This does not mean that I think that was an acceptable choice, but it’s not like it is all our fault, as everyone always seem to think..)
    The above article about slavery also states that there are loads of black people still being enslaved in africa today. Wouldn’t it be more useful to do something about a still ongoing problem in their own culture instead of making problems about traditions from other cultures.. that already know that they were wrong in trading in slaves (trading, not capturing).

    Second: The most believable legend states that zwarte piet originally was a Barbary corsair (/pirate). The Barbary corsairs were pirates that, between 1500 and 1800 captured about 1-1.25 million Europeans and enslaved them. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_corsairs#Barbary_slaves) The original thought behind the combination was good-evil. Sinterklaas would give you gifts if you were nice, but if you were naughty you would get kidnapped by ‘the pirate’. This is why parents used to ‘threaten’ their kids that they had to be good, or they would be put in a bag and taken to Spain. So.. originally Zwarte Piet was the enslavor, not the slave.

    3) Another possible explanation for Zwarte Piet is the chimney/chimneysweeper explanation. Zwarte Piet would be an Italian chimneysweeper. This would explain the clothes Zwarte Piet is wearing which are 16th/17th century Italian chimneysweep clothes.
    The fact that zwarte piet comes trough a chimney also is suggested in the following painting, which was created long before the book cited by you:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feast_of_Saint_Nicholas

    4) There is another version that says that Sinterklaas is based on Odin. Odin had a grey horse and two >black< ravens as helpers who observed people. Sometimes the story is told here in holland that Zwarte Piet also keeps out an eye to see if children are nice or naughty. Just as the Christmastree used for christmas was originally from another religion as well..

    (All the above stories originate from way before that book that you mentioned was published.. And I haven't even mentioned the Turkish Bishop story. Zwarte Piet existed way before that book. If you look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas#Middle_Ages you can find the following sentences: "Sinterklaas is assisted by many mischievous helpers with black faces and colourful Moorish dresses. These helpers are called 'Zwarte Pieten' (Black Petes). During the Middle-ages Zwarte Piet was a name for evil. Good and bad play an important role in the feast: good is rewarded, bad and evil is punished. Hence the duplication of the one Saint in a saint and a (frolicking) devil.
    The feast was both an occasion to help the poor, by putting money in their shoes (which evolved into putting presents in children's shoes) and a wild feast, similar to Carnival, that often led to costumes, a "topsy-turvy" overturning of daily roles, and mass public drunkenness.")

    5) Santa is based on Sinterklaas, and since he uses elves (or little people in funny clothes) as workers to create the presents.. (while our sinterklaas just buys them and lets Zwarte Piet give out candy) I don't think people who like Santa and accept the 'Santa' tradition should criticize our Sinterklaas traditions since Santa does exactly the same just with little people.

    6) I think Geert Wilders is an idiot (though he does know how to give speeches).. but I also think that people who just judge our culture without doing any research from our perspective (Seriously, comparing Zwarte Piet to some story about an indian/tamil boy from your own culture.. Says more about the english than about the dutch doesn't it? And yes, Little Sambo was Indian/Tamil not an African slave.)

    Lastly, the only serious hint to Zwarte Piet being a slave was this one: ""Another, more modern story is that Saint Nicolas liberated an Ethiopian slave boy called 'Piter' (from Saint Peter) from a Myra market, and the boy was so grateful he decided to stay with Saint Nicolas as a helper.""
    But that doesn't say that he is a slave either, Sinterklaas even liberated him instead of enslaving him..

  11. Brandon Says:

    So much stupidity in one article.

    I’m black and never have I ever considered ‘Sinterklaas’ as a racist holiday. When I grew up, I learned that he was Sinterklaas’s helper and that the soot made him appear black. Why aren’t his clothes dirty, you ask? Why isn’t Santa Claus’s beard full of flies? Why does he even ride a sleigh, pulled by flying reindeers? It’s like a fairy tale – no child will see a Zwarte Piet and think ‘wow, that’s a slave’. Of course, as I grew up, I learned about the origins of the holiday and even though Zwarte Piet used to be portrayed as a slave, things have now changed. Trying to be ‘free-minded’ by calling the Sinterklaas holiday racist shows how close-minded and ignorant people can be.

  12. Kristel Says:

    The holiday of Sinterklaas has nothing to do with christmas. The story is that Sinterklaas comes from spain with his Zwarte Pieten. Those Zwarte Pieten are black because they have got to go through the chimney, every night, to put presents in the shoes of children. Every night till dec. 5 children can put there shoes in front of the fireplace. Or if ther dont have a fireplace they can put there shoes in front of their front door.

    In fact the parent of these children buy al those presents.

  13. Robin Says:

    In what way is it relevant that Breivik is praising Geert Wilders?!

  14. Ash Says:

    Hoity-toity fucking Americans thinking you’re so righteous.

    1: It’s not the Dutch version of Santa Claus, it’s a tradition in rememberance of Saint-Nicholas. It’s on December 5th and has absolutely NOTHING to do with Christmas.
    2: The “Zwarte Piet” or Black Pete is a reference to Saint-Nicholas servants, when he came to Europe from modern-day Turkey to give presents to all the poor children. They weren’t slaves. They were black. And there is nothing racist about that unless someone like you comes along and makes it racist.
    When I was little I used to dress up as Black Pete, he is a childhood hero in Holland. All the kids absolutely adore him. They don’t even fucking know what race is, only that Black Pete is cool. Is that racist?? You need to take a good look at yourself in the mirror, get off your fucking yankee high-horse and mind your own goddamn business. Patronizing faggots. If Saint-Nicholas was black we would have loved and honored him just as much as we do now. It’s not someone’s skin color that we care about, it’s someone’s actions that make someone great. And if black Saint-Nicholas servants would have been white there wouldn’t have been a soul on earth thinking that’s racist.
    Moral of this story; Get over yourselves yankees. Believe it or not, people don’t really like you anymore and if you keep up the smug attitude towards other people’s traditions and customs just because you feel uncomfortable with it than thats your problem, not ours. Good job being dicks and trying to blemish an innocent children’s holiday douchebags!

  15. Nick Says:

    I find it sad you publish such blatant untruths on your website. The zwarte pieten were originally moores, that helped Sinterklaas because he helped them first. Sinterklaas was a Saint and all. And beside that, there was originally only ONE moore, but because it is a holiday more started to appear, more fun for the kids.

    Very sad. They are not slaves, they are Moores that help him willingly. Good luck with publishing lies.

  16. Dr. Kufi tu Tyte Says:

    I suppose the pertinent question here would be, “What if Zwarte Piet were Muslims?”,/em>

  17. Julia Says:

    what a load of bullshit. just accept the tradition for the children. You can add green white yellow and red ‘piet’ if you want. Btw, the guy who was standing there with a tshirt about the racism -> the piet COME on … you don’t do that in front off all this children! That’s just provoking!

  18. marijke Says:

    First of all, Sinterklaas is not a Chiristmas tradition.
    Secondly, your Santa has helpers, little elves. Aren’t they offensive to small people?

    Why make a fuss of things. Zwarte Piet isn’t meant to be racist, it’s let’s-make-everything-politically-correct grown-ups who think he is (maybe Zwarte Piet did not give them enough pepernoten when they wre a child and they now hate him for that). Children aged 0-6 or 7 don’t know about slavery, racism and things like that. They learn about that later when they are older and go to school. If anything Zwarte Piet is a friendly ambassador for people that look different from the (white) majority.

  19. marijke Says:

    And the Zwarte Pieten are black because they are Moors. Moors refers to the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Northwest Africa and the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), to answer your question ‘what if they were Muslims’.

    So they were muslim and now they are without religion, like the Sinterklaasfestivities in general. Some religious icons remain (Sinterklaas his outfit for excemple, although recently people also want him to ditch the cross on his mitre) but it is a holiday for children (and grown-ups) of all religions.

    I don’t care if they are Muslim. They are friendly people. Deal with it

  20. flying dutchman Says:

    Hi,

    Why are all black people so ignorend when we want to become black? you always see everything as discrimination… ooh yeah you guys like it when you get possitive discrimination, than we dont hear you. And oh no we can not say anything about your traditions… like killing woman, burning kids who don’t learn the koran fast enough ( happened last week in holland ) that girls should be hooded, while we native people not even can wear glasses on our passport picture. We have to accept those stupid traditions, which i dont. So shut the f*ck up about our traditions, its our country.

    ps. do research before you publish anything on a website, 99% of what you telling isnt the truth

  21. flying dutchman Says:

    Dont think i’m racist or anything… not saying everyone is that way. a lot of my friends are moslum, some hindu, the point is that it isnt a racist thing, sinterklaas is just fun and i can not understand people are actually making a point of zwarte piet… its said. And than again, what is this article doing on this site? i mean why do you always relat racism to muslims? zwarte piet is black, thats all. We had this year a white piet in the village :P so the color doesnt matter.

  22. Skiboo Says:

    The Dutch Santa Claus has slaves.

    The Saudis have real slaves.

    Muhammed had real slaves, not make believe ones.

  23. Emperor Says:

    The Prophet of Islam actually freed slaves, and as a standard practice, has his followers free slaves too. Case and point- Abu Bakr, The Prophets close companion and direct successor was known for purchasing freedom for slaves. One such example was when Abu Bakr freed Bilal- another early companion of The Prophet and the first Muezzin (caller to prayer)!

  24. Ben Bout Says:

    “Sinterklaas” is not Santa Claus. “De kerstman” (the christmas man) is Santa Claus. Santa Claus was derived from Sinterklaas, after which “de kerstman” was derived back into the Netherlands/Belgium as a separate tradition. Sinterklaas never had anything to do with christmas.

  25. Nick Says:

    Is Santa in the USA a racist? He has midgets as slaves. He discriminates little people because of that. Santa is a pedofile, he is an old guy who can’t keep his hands from children. He is a violent man and gives the cildren in the USA toy guns so they know how they can make war in the future. Santa is a burgler, he brakes in to people’s houses and he is an informant of the NSA. He has info from everybody. He knows what you did at school. Santa Clausis a dangerous man. I like Sinterklaas better.

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