Amstelveen Sinterkklaas committee quits over demands to change blackface Zwarte Piet

Chimney Piet

The committee responsible for organizing Sinterklaas' arrival in Amstelveen quit, the college of mayor and aldermen wrote to the Amstelveen municipality. The committee refuses to accept any form of Zwarte Piet other than the traditional blackface one, and decided to rather step down than be forced into it, Het Parool reports.

The college has been discussing a new addition to the Sinterklaas arrival party - specifically the addition of other color Piets - with the committee for years. The college does not want to ban the traditional blackface Zwarte Piet, but wants to add some others. "As also happens in many other municipalities", the college wrote. "As Amstelveen we stand for maintaining traditions, but we also find it important that everyone feels recognized and welcome."

The Sinterklaas committee could not agree to this and decided to step down. "We keep it traditional", chairman Harry Tros said to Rtva last year. "It's about the magic of the children's party. With sooty Piet, you'll be able to see that it's Uncle Wim or neighbor Nicole. Since most of our Piets come from Amstelveen, all the children along the road and on the Stadsplein will recognize them."