Sinterklaas arrival in Zaandam can continue as planned, court rules

Sinterklaas arrival Meppel 2015
The arrival of Sinterklaas in Meppel, Drenthe, led by several Zwarte Piet characters in blackface. Nov. 14, 2015 (photo: marcelarpmeppel / Twitter). (The arrival of Sinterklaas in Meppel, Drenthe, led by several Zwarte Piet characters in blackface. Nov. 14, 2015 (photo: marcelarpmeppel / Twitter))

The court of Haarlem ruled on Wednesday that the appearance of Zwarte Pieten participating in the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Zaandam on Saturday does not have to be adjusted further. The Majority Perspective foundation was not entitled to institute legal proceedings because no prior consultations were held with the defendants, the court said, NU.nl reports.

The judge therefore did not make a substantive decision on the foundation's demands, because the lawsuit did not meet the conditions. The foundation did not approach the defendants in time and, the judge said, "attacked" them with the lawsuit. The judge added that if he had made a substantive decision, he would still have ruled against the foundation, according to the newspaper.

Citizens' initiative Majority Perspective demanded that all Zwarte Pieten participating in the national arrival be and behaviors, which they consider to be racist. The foundation wanted the Pieten not to wear any makeup to change their skin color, not to wear gold earrings and not to have red lips. The Pieten's subservient role is also no longer of this time, according to the foundation.

The lawsuit was filed against the Dutch State, broadcaster NTR for the Sinterklaasjournaal, and the municipality of Zaanstad, which covers Zaandam. 

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