Suriname abolishes Saint Nicholas festival


This is a video from the USA, criticizing the role of “Zwarte Piet” in Dutch Saint Nicholas celebrations.

From Starnieuws in Suriname:

22 November 2012

Sinterklaas celebration in Suriname is out of the question. The festival has a racist element, the “Zwarte Pieten”.

the blackface helpers of the bishop Saint Nicholas, according to nineteenth century Dutch tradition. Reminiscent of slavery in Suriname, a Dutch plantation colony then.

This festival does not belong in Suriname and should be abolished. Ronald Venetiaan (New Front / NPS) mentioned this issue emphatically in the National Assembly today.

New Front is the main opposition in the parliament in Suriname. The government parties agreed with him.

After Suriname had become independent, in the 1980s, the Sinterklaas celebration had already been abolished once, but it had returned later.

For more about objections to celebrating Sinterklaas, see here. And here. And here.

The Hague, the Netherlands: Racism at Pro-Black Pete Demonstration: here.

Dutch racists threaten singer Anouk in Zwarte Piet discussion: here.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Amsterdam on Saturday to protest against the continuing presence of Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, in Christmas celebrations: here.

USA: Fanning the controversy that has been batted around cable news this holiday season, Bill O’Reilly agreed with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that Santa Claus is, in fact, white: here.

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14 thoughts on “Suriname abolishes Saint Nicholas festival

  1. Pingback: Butterflies of Suriname, new book | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. Wow that’s cynical & harsh! I get where they’re coming from but man get over yourselves here, it’s a Holiday and tradition, it has nothing to do with any slave driven activities (anymore). We can’t all of a sudden say all Zwarte Pieten will be white next year, because that would confuse the hell out off all the children who still believe Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet are real. So yeah… the holiday makes a good joke for foreigners, but it’s a little close minded if you’d ask me ;-) However open-mindedness never made a good joke, so for the sake of the video, I’d say good job.

  4. Shock as blacking up is found to be racist

    It’s been a difficult year for those who claim that Santa’s slave helper in the Netherlands isn’t racist. Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, is played by a white person in black make-up.

    Cops in Rotterdam were bombarded with “discriminatory” insults when they blacked up as Piet to go undercover.

    Cops may now better understand Quinsy Gario, who they arrested last year for wearing a “Zwarte Piet is racism” T-shirt at a Christmas parade. They also pepper-sprayed him in the eyes. Quinsy’s mum had been called Zwarte Piet at work.

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30182

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