This morning parents across the Netherlands will be bringing their kids to school to celebrate Sinterklaas, Packjesavond and the saint's imminent return to Spain. Foundation Nederland Wordt Beter is calling on parents to keep their children at home if their school's party still features blackface Zwarte Piet.
Action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet is planning to protest in twelve different cities in November against the use of blackface makeup and costuming often adorned by white actors portraying Sinterklaas's helper. The activists consider Zwarte Piet in his traditional form a racist stereotype. On Thursday there were protests in Apeldoorn and Deventer calling for Zwarte Piet to remain in the blackface costume seen mainly over the last hundred years, and which some say is adhering to Dutch tradition.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science is calling on toy manufacturers to "examine" the gender role-confirming toys in their collection. She is also talking with publishers about stereotyping in text books, AD reports.
Originally unveiled in the mid-eighties, the Carnaval Festival ride at Efteling has undergone a renovation meant to tackle the racial stereotypes on display. The Dutch theme park spent three million euros to also install new lighting and give the 35-year-old attraction a fresh coat of paint.
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.
Efteling is adjusting a number of Asian and African dolls in its 35 years old Carnaval Festival attraction, the amusement park announced on Wednesday. This follows criticism that some of the dolls in the attraction show stereotypical or racist characteristics, NU.nl reports.