Zwarte Piet

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Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet (pronounced [ˈzʋɑrtə ˈpit], Dutch for "Black Pete"; Luxembourgish: Schwaarze Péiter, Indonesian: Pit Hitam, West Frisian: Swarte Pyt) is the friend of Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas, West Frisian: Sinteklaas, Luxembourgish: Kleeschen, Indonesian: Sinterklas) in the folklore of the Low Countries.

The character first appeared in an 1850 book by Amsterdam schoolteacher Jan Schenkman.

Zwarte Piet is black because he is a Moor from Spain.[1] People playing Zwarte Piet usually put on blackface and colourful suits along with curly wigs and bright red lipstick.[2][3][4][5][6]

Recently, the character has become controversial with many saying it was racist towards people of African descent.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Forbes, Bruce David (2007). Christmas: A Candid History. University of California Press. p. 54.
  2. Carleton, Marie-Helene. "Zwarte Piet: Black Pete is 'Dutch racism in full display'". www.aljazeera.com. Protesters have rallied against the Dutch blackface tradition
  3. Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Dutch Zwarte Piet reignites blackface debate | DW | 16.11.2019". DW.COM. Zwarte Pieten ... who are played by white people in full blackface
  4. "This notorious Christmas character is dividing a country". National Geographic News. 6 December 2018. Zwarte Piet ... who usually appears as a blackface character
  5. Henley, Jon (18 September 2019). "Dutch Saint Nicholas parade to replace blackface with 'sooty faces'" – via www.theguardian.com. Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’s helper, has traditionally been portrayed by adults wearing gaudy costumes, large gold earrings, afro-style wigs, red lipstick and full blackface makeup
  6. "So Long, Black Pete : Rough Translation". NPR.org.
  7. Leopold, Todd. "'Blackface': Dutch holiday tradition or racism?". CNN. Black Peter, a goofy, singing, candy-giving Renaissance-clad figure in blackface