About the Sint, Piet and SlechtWeerVandaag.
There has been a lot of talk about one of our traditions called Sinterklaas.
People have been pointing fingers and saying that we are supporting old an racism traditions.
When I listen to these things, it saddens me that even the 800 + old friend of all children, is being judged because of his and his best friends color of skin.
My generation and the ones that come behind, where told by Hugo Matthijsen, who the Sint and Piet are, what they do, how they do it, and why. There is a brilliant part that explains very eloquently how Zwarte Piet, got his skin color.
“Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet says he sometimes get’s red. That can’t be true right?”
“But it is true. Look Zwarte Piet is black, but underneath that black, he is also white and because that is so, he sometimes colors red.”
They move along by explaining why he is actually black. By showing, that when you glide down a chimney, your face might be a bit colored by it. Zwarte Piet loves going down that way, and does is so much and often, that it just does not come off.
Some say that Zwarte Piet does all the hard work and seems more like a slave, or a worker bee. But the fact is that They are very close friends and maybe the Sint is a little like a father figure for Zwarte piet, who’s playfulness, is boundless. The fact might be that he does help a lot around the house and outside of the castle. But what do you expect from an 800+ old man, … He just needs some help and he gets it from his best friend Piet.
I do understand that people are scared that some things might be causing children to ask questions about skin color, but does your child point a finger at every, white and old guy with a beard if he is Santa. If they see a bunny, do they think it’s the Easter bunny? On the other hand, isn’t asking questions a good way of growing and learning? Isn’t it our job as parents to give them an reasonable and honest answer?
I believe, for my child, Piet is just as important as the Sint. Maybe he even likes him more as he hands out candy and is playful and funny.
The whole discussion gives me a sad feeling. We always preach equality and fairness, but forget that things like racism do go both ways. I for one am very happy my child learns about different facial colors, even if its blackened by a chimney or reddened by shame.
I know he will always have fond memory’s about the ‘Good man, his horse and his friend.’ And that is priceless.
I might be wrong and I might be only looking at things from my perspective. But I truly believe no one means harm in this tradition and that is what matters most doesn’t it?