Entertainment

Christmas tree
Dec 26 '18 14:20

A number of families in Ede, along with volunteer organization Malkander, offered 24 lonely people a spot at their Christmas dinner table on Tuesday. The goal was to make sure that people who are usually alone on Christmas could still have a fun day, NOS reports.

This initiative was started by Daan Overeem and his wife Marilu Kessele last year. "There are all sorts of initiatives just before Christmas, but on the days itself it's quiet. We just want people who feel lonely to have a great day, because the Christmas days can be most painful", Overeem said to NOS.

Kick Out Zwarte Piet blocked from protesting racism in Friesland Netherlands on Sinterklaas
Dec 18 '18 08:35

The word "blokkeerfries" is the winner of Van Dale's Word of the Year election, getting 55.4 percent of the over 28 thousand votes. "Yogasnuiver", someone who usually lives healthily but occasionally indulges in party drugs and cocaine, and "mangomoment", a moment of happiness that a seriously ill patient experiences through an apparently insignificant, non-medical act or comment from a doctor, came in second and third place respectively.

Princess Amalia of the Netherlands, November 2016
Dec 7 '18 13:20

Princess Amalia, crown princess of the Netherlands and the eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, is turning 15 years old on Friday. She will be celebrating her birthday with her family and a few friends, Queen Maxima said to RTL Nieuws.

"Definitely with each other. And a few friends", the Queen said to the broadcaster. "All family at the start, then we will see. She has exams soon!"

Fireworks debris
Dec 6 '18 10:00

The enthusiasm for lighting fireworks over New Year's is decreasing among young Dutch people. Some 32 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds will probably light fireworks this coming New Year's, compared to 45 percent last year, according to an online survey by I&O Research among over 3 thousand people, NU.nl reports.

Riot police in Haren during a Project X party on 21 September 2012
Dec 6 '18 08:14

There will be no so-called Project X party in Katwijk, Mayor Wim Hillenaar of Cuijk, which covers Katwijk, announced. Measures will be taken to prevent any irregularities. On social media, thousands of young people said they were going to the party, RTL Nieuws reports.

"Given the circumstances, we can do nothing else but prepare for all scenarios", Hillenaar said. "But there is no party in Katwijk and there will be no party in Katwijk. People from outside Cuijk who come here with bad intentions will be stopped."

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Dec 4 '18 08:51

Primary schools in large cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague and the municipalities around them are increasingly using Pieten with soot marks on their faces in the Sinterklaas celebration, rather than the traditional blackface Zwarte Piet, according to a survey of over 580 schools by DUO Education Research & Advice, NU.nl reports.

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Dec 3 '18 12:30

The CDA wants YouTube videos to also feature parental guidance warnings so that parents can instantly see whether videos are suitable for their children, and thereby better protect them against images of violence, sex or harsh language. The party wants the PG warnings to always be visible on both online and television content, AD reports.

Fireworks debris
Nov 23 '18 08:58

The Netherlands' tradition of letting consumers light fireworks over New Year's has the Dutch population properly divided. The majority of Dutch men want to keep this tradition, while the majority of Dutch women are in favor of fireworks bans, according to a survey newspaper AD conducted among over 157 thousand people. 

According to the newspaper, 65 percent of all men are against a fireworks ban in their municipality, while 61 percent of women are for such a ban.

Sinterklaas Amsterdam 2
Nov 16 '18 10:35

Activists angered by the use of blackface around the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition are planning to protest in Dokkum on Saturday. The protestors had previously made arrangements with the municipality to lawfully demonstrate in the Friesland town at the televised Sinterklaas arrival last year, but their buses were stopped by people who created a blockade on the A7 motorway shutting down all traffic on a main road into the province.

Sinterklaas arrival Meppel 2015
Nov 15 '18 08:00

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.

Nov 14 '18 08:33

The municipality of Zaanstad fears that the Sinterklaas's national arrival on Saturday will have to be canceled if the court rules in favor of the Majority Perspective foundation in summary proceedings the foundation filed. The foundation did not ask for the celebration to be banned outright, as previously reported, but demands that the Zwarte Piet characters be stripped of all stereotypical characteristics and behaviors that they consider racist, NU.nl reports.

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Nov 13 '18 08:45

The first episode of NTR's kids show Sinterklaasjournaal on Monday featured mainly Chimney Pieten with soot marks on their faces. Only one, played by actor Maarten Wansink, had a completely black face, NU.nl reports.

In the first episode, presenter Dieuwertje Blok made first contact with the steamboat, which has to set course to Zaanstad where Sinterklaas will make his national arrival in the Netherlands on Saturday. The boat hasn't departed yet, because Sinterklaas is not yet on board. 

Nov 12 '18 11:10

A group of Zwarte Piet opponents filed summary proceedings asking the court to ban the national arrival of Sinterklaas in Zaanstad on Saturday. The Majority Perspective foundation filed this lawsuit against a number of involved parties, including Sinterklaasjournaal broadcaster NTR and the mayor of Zaanstad, NU.nl reports.

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Nov 8 '18 08:30

Children in Zaanstad see Sinterklaas as a fun family celebration and when it comes to the color of Zwarte Piet, they prefer so-called Chimney Pieten colored black by soot, according to Zaanstad Children's Ombudsman Martien van Does, Het Parool reports.

Van Does spoke to 200 children about Sinterklaas in the run-up to a debate evening on Wednesday about the holy man's national arrival at the Zaanse Schans on November 17th. 

Fireworks debris
Nov 5 '18 10:30

The police want to oblige people caught with illegal fireworks throughout the year to report to the police over New Year's, in an effort to improve the safety of police officers and other emergency workers. Every New Year's there are incidents in which first responders are pelted with fireworks. The police reason that people can't throw illegal fireworks if they have to report to the police over New Year's, NOS reports.

1280px-Sinterklaas_portrait
Nov 5 '18 08:50

To prevent the national arrival of Sinterklaas from getting out of hand, the municipality of Zaandstad is implementing extra security measures and strict rules for protestors. Demonstrators will have fixed areas for their protests, far away from other protesting groups, and there will be access gates and extra searches at the arrival on November 17th, ANP reports.

The area where Sinterklaas arrives, will be closed down with fences. Visitors can only enter through access gates, where bags and jackets will be searched. No glassware or drones will be allowed.

1280px-Sinterklaas_portrait
Nov 2 '18 09:09

Netflix seems to be avoiding the controversy around Sinterklaas and his helper Zwarte Piet this year. No Sinterklaas shows are available on the streaming service this year, according to the Telegraaf.

Sinterklaas shows and films did appear on Netflix in the past. Responding to disappointed customers on social media, Netflix said that the content was removed because the agreements with the distributors have expired, according to the newspaper.

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Oct 22 '18 16:10

Pepper spray was released at four Amsterdam Dance Event parties over the weekend. Multiple attendees had to be treated for burning eyes and breathing problems, though no one had to go to hospital. Despite these incidents, the city of Amsterdam speaks of a "calm" 23rd edition of the dance festival.

German Shepherd puppy
Oct 17 '18 15:10

The Amsterdam University Library is helping students deal with the stress of exam week. The Library opened a special 'puppy room', where students can go cuddle with a puppy for 15 minutes and recharge before getting back to studying, RTL Nieuws reports.

Oct 11 '18 08:47

No Chimney Pieten will accompany Sinterklaas during celebrations in Noord-Brabant's largest cities. Seven of the eight cities in the province decided to stick to traditional Zwarte Pieten, with the actor's faces colored by brown, dark brown or black makeup, Omroep Brabant reports.

Oct 5 '18 07:46

The Zaanstad Sinterklaas committee, the largest in the Zaanstreek, will not participate in the national Sinterklaas arrival in Zaandijk on November 17th. A statement by broadcaster NTR, the organizer of the national arrival, led the committee to the conclusion that no blackface Zwarte Pieten will be allowed to participate in the arrival for the first time. But according to a spokesperson for NTR, this is not the case at all.

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Oct 4 '18 08:44

The Sinterklaasjournaal will feature only "Chimney Pieten" with soot on their faces this year, broadcaster NTR said in a statement on its website. How black the Pieten's faces will be remains vague. The amount of soot on their faces depends on how often they've gone through the chimney, the broadcaster said.

In the statement NTR addressed a number of questions around Sinterklaas' national arrival in Zaanstad on November 17th, and his controversial helper Zwarte Piet. On the question how the Pieten will look in the popular kids' show, NTR said:

Jim Jefferies with Amsterdam police officers
Sep 24 '18 12:42

Australian comedian Jim Jefferies picked up a viral hit with his video of a ride-along with police in Amsterdam. The segment, produced for his Comedy Central program The Jim Jefferies Show, mostly shows the comic and two police officers driving around the city on a quiet night with no crimes to investigate.

The video collected about 800,000 views across the show's official Facebook and Twitter pages in the three days following its Sept. 21 debut.

Dinosaur masks protect visitors' privacy at Amersfoort zoo
Sep 12 '18 14:50

Starting this week, Dierenpark Amersfoort is handing out dinosaur masks to visitors who do not want to appear online in other people's photos and videos taken at the zoo. With this experiment the zoo wants to see if the masks are effective in protecting visitors' privacy, RTL Nieuws reports.

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