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Dutch People Fight Against Racist “Zwarte Piet” Blackface Tradition

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Dutch People Fight Against Racist “Zwarte Piet” Blackface Tradition

Dutch People Protest Against Racist “Zwarte Piet” Blackface Tradition

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The holidays are around the corner, but, for those in the Netherlands it means protesting against an old Dutch tradition called Zwarte Piet, “Black Pete.”

Many are fighting to get rid of the ancient tradition because of its depiction of slavery and racism, but many fail to see how offensive it is. They believe it is a part of their childhood that must be passed on to the next generation.

To celebrate December 5, the Dutch version of “Santa Claus” day, the Dutch saint named Sinterklaas hands out candy to kids and has a “helper” named Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” who usually wears a blackface or soot with large gold earrings and exaggerated lips and an Afro. In the weeks leading up to the day, parades are hosted featuring hundreds of white people dressed as Piet.

The character was initially brought to life in a mid-19th century kid’s book written by an author was obsessed with a Dutch royal family member, “one of whom bought a slave in a slave market in Cairo in the mid-19th century,” says Joke Hermes ,of Inholland University.

Some Dutch people believe it is a tradition that other cultures would not understand.

Those in protest of Zwarte Piet have faced a. Hard time and had threats from white supremacist organizations. Journalists have received death threats for writing about it, and some have even been subject to violent attacks.

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