Sinterklaas Clubs discuss Piet
The Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Intangible Heritage wants to discuss the future of Zwarte Piet with Sinterklaas Organizations . In recent weeks, there was much discussion about Zwarte Piet, because this tradition is perceived as racist.The parties that fueled the debate about Zwarte Piet are invited to the talks. It has to be a constructive conversation. Organizations that are very fiercely pro or con, or think in black and white, are not invited, according to Ineke Strouken, director of the center.
The Center feels compelled to take the initiative because of the increasingly fierce debate, states Strouken. She points out the Sinterklaas tradition is changing overtime anyway. One will rarely hear a Piet speak in broken sentences anymore. Piet has become a particularly clever servant. Strouken thinks it would benefit the process if there could be some white, brown, and female Pieten this year.
Although Strouken wouldn't mind seeing some dark faces painted white, she sees nothing in colored helpers. Everything can not change overnight, but the Sinterklaas tradition has survived through the ages, because it adapts.
Strouken invited the Sint Nicolaas Society Netherlands, Foundation Sinterklaasintocht Amsterdam, the Sinterklaas Museum and the NTR (who broadcasts the Sinterklaas journal ). The Foundation Sinterklaasintocht Amsterdam preferred to discuss the issue in January, but Strouken thinks that would be too late.