Activists angered by the use of blackface around the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition are planning to protest in Dokkum on Saturday.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The annual flower parade in Zundert attracted 70 thousand visitors on Sunday - a new record, according to the organizers. "Until the last moment on Sunday, many people still bought tickets", a spokesperson said to ANP.
The parade involved around 20 floats - one from every Zundert neighborhood - covered in dahlias. Each float counted at least 400 thousand flowers. Hundreds of volunteers helped construct the floats over the past weeks.
A float featuring an iguana was named the winner this year, second place went to Plague Doctor and third to Out of Space.
Hot air balloon festival Ballon Fiesta took place in Meerstad, Groningen on Friday and Saturday. The show featured the largest hot air balloon in the world, shaped like a racing motorcycle, as well as dozens of other hot air balloons.
The largest hot air balloon in the world is 38 meters high and 44 meters wide, according to RTV Noord. Controlling it is rather complicated, owner Herman Kleinsmit said to the broadcaster. "The motorcycle catches a lot of wind. That is why I also need a large field to land it. Steering it is difficult, but it is a kick. Every time."
People who went to see the giant marionettes of Royal de Luxe in Leeuwarden on Sunday, were left stranded by a train disruption. A faulty overhead line meant very limited trains between Zwolle and Meppel, which forms part of the route between Zwolle and Leeuwarden, NU.nl reports.
According to ProRail, about half a kilometer of overhead line was pulled down by a train. This brought train traffic on the route to a complete standstill for a time. From around 6:30 p.m. a limited number of trains could run on one rail on the route.
Mayor Ryan Palmen of Hilvarenbeek and the police unions have different views of how dance festival Decibel Outdoor went this past weekend. Palmen called it the "quietest edition" yet. But according to the unions, there were "various reports" that weren't picked up, Omroep Brabant reports.
A tribute concert to American soul singer Aretha Franklin in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam sold out in no time. "Up to and including the last seat", a spokesperson said to RTL Nieuws.
The Queen of Soul passed away at age 76 in her home in Detroit on Thursday after a years long battle with cancer.
Exactly half a century ago Franklin made her European debut in the Concertgebouw. The now legendary performance blew the audience away.
Leeuwarden, the Culture Capital of Europe this year, will host three very special guests this weekend - giant marionettes from French street theater company Royal de Luxe. They'll be in Leeuwarden on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The star of the show is the 11 meter high Diver. The marionette weighs 3 tons and needs 40 people to move him at a speed of 2 kilometers per hour. He will be accompanied by the Giant Little Girl of 5.5 meters and the 3 meter high Xolo dog.
The 11th edition of Rescue Vlissingen - the largest rescue services event in the Netherlands - attracted a record number of over 100 thousand visitors on Wednesday. The municipality of Vlissingen eventually called on people to stop coming to the city by car, because there was nowhere left to park, NU.nl reports.
The three-day festival Decibel Outdoor in Hilvarenbeek will happen as planned this weekend, despite police actions during the event, a spokesperson for the Decibel Outdoor organization said after consultation with the Hilvarenbeek municipality, police and Public Prosecutor, RTL Nieuws reports.