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 Sinterklaas arrival committees in the vast majority of Dutch towns and cities decided to keep their Zwarte Pieten traditional with blackface makeup, according to a survey by NOS and regional broadcasters. Only two of the 223 surveyed committees will have no blackface makeup at Sinterklaas' arrival - Amsterdam and Heemstede.
Sinterklaas will be surrounded by only Chimney Pieten during his arrival in Amsterdam this year. While the organizing committee announced earlier this week that 75 percent of the Pieten will be covered in soot instead of traditional makeup, they announced on Friday that not a single Piet will be wearing the blacface makeup when Sinterklaas arrives on November 13th, ANP reports.
Sinterklaas will be accompanied by more so-called Chimney Pieten and fewer traditional Zwarte Pieten at his national arrival in Meppel this year. More of Sinterklaas' helpers will be marked with ash and soot marks on their faces, instead of the traditional black-face makeup. The cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Maastricht will be following the same trend in the coming years.
Following the example of Amsterdam, Minister Lodewijk Assher of Social Affairs wants to engage in a national discussion about the future of Sinterklaas caricature Zwarte Piet, Trouw reports.