Party shop to hand out free 'Indian' costumes in response to racism debate

Kids dressed in 'cowboy and Indian' costumes
Kids dressed in 'cowboy and Indian' costumes. (Photo: DesignPicsInc/DepositPhotos)

Bert Felling of party shop FeestXpert in Nijmegen and Wamel finds it "crazy" that cowboy- and Indian costumes are considered racist. He will therefore give every child who visits his shop on Saturday, February 23rd, a free Indian costume and free Indian face paint, AD reports.

Felling is "tired of the whole racism debate", he said to the newspaper. "Nowhere in the world has it gone as crazy as here in the Netherlands", he said. "I'm sick of that. Only here it happens, nowhere else." According to him, his Indian costume action must be seen as a counter reaction to "the racism debate that has gone crazy."

Last year the TivoliVredenburg music center in Utrecht had to adapt the 'cowboys and Indians' theme for a children's party after activists accused it of using racist stereotypes, Felling said. And his own shop was vandalized just before carnival last year. "Costume ≠ culture", someone wrote on his shop window. "The big question is why. I am not a racist. But I do have Indian dolls in the shop window. That is  just part of a party like carnival. I find it unbelievable that people nowadays call something like this racism."

Felling will also dress up as an Indian on Saturday, as will his staff. "I especially want to keep it very playful. It must be a nice, fun party for the children", he said.