Skip to Content

Zwarte Piete (Wikipedia)

Dutch municipalities reluctant to host 2018 Zwarte Piet

Dutch municipalities are not jumping at the opportunity to organize the national arrival of Sinterklaas. State broadcaster NTR has sent an urgent letter to the Dutch Association of Mayors with a request to participate, RTL News reported.

Published: March 24, 2018, 8:11 am

    Read more

    And only a few municipalities have shown interest so far, says a spokesman for the NTR quoted by RTL Nieuws.

    The NTR broadcasts the children’s party every year organised by the host municipality. In the letter, which is in the hands of RTL Nieuws, it states that until last year there were always several municipalities that submitted a request to the NTR to host the festival. It was not the case this year.

    Ajé Boschhuizen wrote on behalf of the NTR to the Dutch Society of Mayors (NGB) on 7 March: “To date, no municipality has yet reported. We can only guess at the causes of this. Of course, we could wait and see if a municipality responds in the near future, but that is – in view of the long preparation time of such a large-scale project – rather risky with a view to planning.”

    In recent years, things have not been going smoothly. Last year campaigners from Zwarte Piet blocked the A7 motorway at Joure. In 2016, a large anti-colonialist group was arrested for ignoring a demonstration ban.

    If no municipality comes forward soon, the festival may not be able to continue. “There may well be mayors among your colleagues who would like to celebrate this wonderful party with us on Saturday, November 17, 2018. We therefore hope that you would like to submit this question to them on our behalf. As said, time is beginning to run out.”

    The letter was read during a meeting of the Dutch Association of Mayors last week, according to RTL News. Sixty mayors were present at that meeting. All other mayors will also receive the letter urging them to save Sinterklaas.

    The arrival of Sinterklaas and his helper Zwarte Piet, is always broadcast live on television but in the past few years the event has been beset by protests against the blackface Zwarte Piet.

    Boschhuizen added: “Of course, we don’t want a 66-year-old Dutch national television tradition to end this way, which is why I am asking you to help us.”

    The appeal for help has now resulted in a few municipalities coming forward as potential hosts and talks are currently underway, according to Dutch daily De Telegraaf. Last year’s arrival in the Friesland town of Dokkum was marred when pro-Piet supporters blocked a highway to keep protesters out.

    The bearded Sinterklaas traditionally wears a long red cape and carries a ceremonial shepherd’s staff and he rides into town on a white horse. In the Netherlands, the horse is called Amerigo, and in Belgium, it is named Slecht Weer Vandaag[Bad Weather Today]. Sinterklaas carries a big, red book in which is written whether each child has been good or naughty in the past year.

    He is assisted by companions or Zwarte Piete carrying bags of sweets which they toss around to the delight of the youngsters. The tradition dates back at least as far as the early 19th Century.

    In the older Sinterklaas tradition, songs mention naughty children being put in Zwarte Piet’s bag and being taken back to Spain. The legend refers to the time of the Moors who raided the European coasts as far as Iceland, abducting the local people into slavery.

    In a 2013 survey published in De Telegraaf, 92 percent of the Dutch public did not perceive Zwarte Piet as racist or associate him with slavery, and 91 percent were opposed to altering the character’s appearance.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • kouldb

      So multiculturalism means everyone’s culture must be included. Except that of the host nation.


    Green mayor supports exclusion of whites in LGBT association of Tours’ march

    ToursThe LGBT demonstration scheduled for Tours on May 15 will not welcome white people in the procession. A desire for exclusion was announced by the organizers. The Green mayor, Emmanuel Denis, called this choice "inclusive" and "open".

    Greece’s controversial method of discouraging illegal migrants

    AthensGreece has introduced a controversial method to counter and deter large numbers of illegal migrants trying to reach Europe, according to an organization working to increase mass immigration. With the help of masked commandos, the illegal migrants are towed back to Turkey and left there.

    German PEI report fuels fear of long-term vaccine damage

    Thrombosis, cerebral haemorrhage, heart attacks, facial paralysis and more: the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) in Germany has reported almost 5000 suspected serious side effects and 524 deaths after Covid-19 vaccinations. However, the unknown long-term consequences may be much more dangerous than we think.

    Nothing to laugh about in German professional sport

    Some days ago, German soccer team FC Nürnberg refused to hire Maximilian Knauer as the coach of its U17s because he is said to have placed smileys in the wrong place on WhatsApp. Now the Former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been dismissed from the supervisory board of Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin because the German goalkeeper legend smiled virtually.

    In Hungary there are more vaccines than people wanting them

    BudapestAt the end of April, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that there were now more vaccines available than people wanting them. Hungary is the only such state in Europe.

    Another jihadist deemed ‘criminally irresponsible’ for professor’s murder

    ParisA former student, of Pakistani origin, had fatally stabbed this teacher in front of the Leonardo da Vinci university in the suburbs of the city of Paris in December 2018.

    Swiss town finds new solution against beggars

    BaselThe city of Basel offers a travel voucher to beggars who, in exchange, undertake not to return to the city for at least a certain period of time under penalty of permanent expulsion from the country.

    Rambouillet terrorist was regularized without any scrutiny

    RambouilletIn the wake of the murder of Samuel Paty, the Tunisian jihadist involved in the Rambouillet beheading wrote on Facebook: “O Muslims, now we will respond to the insults from France.” Two months later, he obtained his residence permit.

    Isaac Newton becomes the latest victim of ‘decolonisation’

    SheffieldSir Isaac Newton's historical legacy amounts to “colonial-era activity” and must be scrapped to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University in the UK.

    Left-wing German politician exposed as possible link to hammer gang

    KasselWith its special edition “Antifa - The underground leftist power”, COMPACT, a conservative German magazine has stirred up a hornets' nest. A left-wing politician even wants to have journalistic research banned.

    Go to archive