Zwarte Piet talks continue in May

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"There are no secret talks about the future of 'Zwarte Piet' or Black Peet," said Ineke Schouten of the Dutch Center for Folk Culture and Immaterial Heritage (VIE), in contrast to earlier reports on Friday in Algemeen Dagblad (AD). The Center is in the process of making a list of all views and opinions, in order to be able to advise on the issue, whenwill start with the parties involved.

The study was announced a while back already on the website, interviews are in progress, but the invitations for the discussion have not been sent yet. Strouken expects changes in the Black Peet character, but doesn't know to what extent yet. "We can't do much. In the end change will have to from the welcoming committees, from the bottom, up," said Strouken. Jan de Wijk, chairman for the Saint Nicholas Organization (SNG), feels only a small Amsterdam group is against Black Peet. There's no longer a link with slavery, since Peet is more and more evolving into the manager of Saint Nicholas, according to De Wijk