Just to be clear about this right from the start: Personally, I’m not a fan of Valentine’s day. I never celebrated it, I have no relation with it and my (pitiable, some might say) girlfriend never got a single gift. Not because of deliberate rejection, but because of indifference. 14th of February for me never was Valentine’s day, it was just a day. Continue reading
By Noort Bakx
Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. If you’re not Dutch these words won’t mean anything to you. For me, it is associated with a whole lot of heartwarming feelings, childhood memories and tradition. Sinterklaas is a guy, a Saint, and the name for the winter holiday we celebrate in The Netherlands and some surrounding countries. This week was the kickoff of another year where both kids and many adults will continue this tradition. This upcoming weekend, Sinterklaas arrives by boat to The Netherlands, a crazy yearly grand entrance, full on parade and national television show. But this year, the craziness started early. Cause next to heartwarming feelings, more and more people associate the feast with racism. Zwarte Piet, Black Peter, the black helper of the Saint, represents a reference to slavery. The annual discussion about keeping tradition versus moving away from an association that should be left behind, has gotten stirred up to high proportions.