Nearly 90 people were arrested in Gouda yesterday for arguing over the presence of blackfaced Zwarte Piet characters at the city’s annual arrival of Sinterklaas celebration. Those taken into custody were a mix of protestors and Zwarte Piet supporters, police told broadcaster Omroep West.
Last night the Sinterklaasjournaal introduced a few White Petes. Or at least a Piet-in-training with a few soot marks on his face from going down the chimney.
Dutch filmmaker Sunny Bergman was met with stunned looks and stern words from Londoners when she dressed up as Zwarte Piet to gauge reaction to the character abroad. A three-minute clip of her documentary, Our Colonial Hangover, was posted to YouTube featuring the director's day out in blackface.
The Council of State ruled that the Court of Amsterdam is not allowed to chastise Mayor Eberhard van der Laan over Zwarte Piet.
The Sinterklaas festival will again be "old fashioned" this year. The first episode of the Sinterklaasjournaal ended with the Pieten drilling holes in the wall of the steam boat to hang a painting, with water sloshing over their shoes. The Zwarte Pieten all had black faces, like always.
Stepping into the fray of an oftentimes volatile debate on racism in the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum national gallery in Amsterdam will open a new exhibit detailing the “Birth of Zwarte Piet.” The character, beloved by many Dutch people and reviled by many ethnic minorities, is said to be the Moorish slave assistant to Christmas-time legend Sinterklaas, and is often portrayed by a white person in blackface.
According to the Board for the Protection of Human Rights, the public Prof. Kohnstamm school in Utrecht may celebrate Sinterklaas with Zwarte Piet in the classroom this year.
Sinterklaas will be celebrated traditionally this year. Sinterlaas committees across the country say that there will be no changes in the arrival in response to the discussions on Zwarte Piet.
The police have managed to recover a Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet costume that was stolen from a shop in Burchstraat in Nijmegen on Saturday.
According to the action group Pro-Zwarte Piet, Dutch businesses who sponsor money or materials to pro-Zwarte Piet actions, want to remain anonymous.
Despite all the protests and controversy, Zwarte Piet costumes and black face paint are flying off the shelves.
The police in Dordrecht wrongly arrested two men in 2011 because they protested against Zwarte Piet at the arrival of Sinterklaas. The National Ombudsman declared their complaint against the police valid.
The largest pepernoten factory in the world opens in Amsterdam on Wednesday. This is also the first pepernoten store in the Netherlands.
The Council of State discussed Zwarte Piet in Amsterdam today. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan will appeal against the decision of the administrative court earlier this year, which ruled that the permit for the Sinterklaastocht 2013 should be reconsidered.
Dozens of Dutch celebrities have decided to enter the debate on Zwarte Piet. Should Sinterklaas's helper remain black? Or is a multicolored Piet better? These celebrities give their opinion on the Facebook page Piet Makeover.
The municipality of Gouda announced today that not only black, but also "Gouda" helpers will accompany Sinterklaas in this year's nationwide arrival of the saint.
In an effort to pacify Zwarte Piet backers, Albert Heijn published a "love poem" to Piet in the morning newspapers. The poem reads that Piet is not banned from the shops and that it does not matter to Albert Heijn whether Piet is black or a different color.
Several of the Albert Heijn franchise owners have decided to defy the supermarket chain's national policy to remove Zwarte Piet from advertisements.
Franchise owner Schuytgraaf from Arnhem stated of Facebook that Zwarte Piet will be found in his store in Elst during the coming months. This status update received more than 2 thousand likes. "On 5 December Zwarte Piet will be walking through the store as usual," he says.
As far as franchiser Hans Geveling is concerned, nothing will change in Albert Heijn stores in Huissen, Bemmel, Gendt and Druten.
According to experts, the cozy, traditional Dutch image of "our Appie" (a service of Albert Heijn), received a dent after the announcement that Zwarte Piet will no longer be used in their campaigns.
A study done by EenVandaag on 27 thousand members of an Opinion Panel found that 83 percent believe that Zwarte Piet's appearance should not be adjusted.
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn has mostly dropped the black-faced version of Zwarte Piet from it’s stores and product packaging, the company’s parent said Wednesday. Though the character might pop up on the boxes of candies and cookies, the store’s parent company, Ahold, says it will not be used inside or outside stores.
There seems to be little public support in the Second Chamber for the PVV's Zwarte Piet law. It is nothing more than a PR stunt according to legal experts from BNR.
PVV-leader Geert Wilders has spoken about his party's plans to construct a Zwarte Piet law which, if it passes, would oblige municipalities to make sure that Zwarte Piet is specifically black during public appearances, such as the Sinterklaas entry tour, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.
The discussions surrounding the appearance of Zwarte Piet, and thereby also what the Sinterklaas festivities as a whole will look like, will take place this month, but involved parties will not announce exact dates in order to minimize public tensions, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.