Meet Gouda's multicolored (and) Zwarte Pieten

The municipality of Gouda announced today that not only black, but also "Gouda" helpers will accompany Sinterklaas in this year's nationwide arrival of the saint.

Most of the Pieten will be the traditional dark brown, but there will also be a couple of cheese- and stroopwafel Pieten around.

According to the municipality, the new Pieten is a nod to the traditions of the city. They will have gold-yellow paint or a diamond pattern on their face. The municipality hopes to do justice to the different views about the appearance of Zwarte Piet.

According to Mayor Milo Schoenmaker it wasn't easy to come up with a solution that would satisfy everyone. "A lot of people adhere to the traditional Sinterklaas festival and sees no reason to change," he says, "but there are also people who plead for change. I think it's important that as mayor the opinion of people who see things differently, be heard."

With this decision Gouda follows the example of Amsterdam. There Mayor Eberhard van der Laan announced earlier this week that the pieten will not have completely black painted faces, but will have ash streaks on their faces.