Monday, November 21, 2011

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet are all around.

Just to show you how ubiquitous they are, here are some more photos of where cartoon depictions of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet can be found in the Netherlands this time of year.

AH Supermarket
"Design your own Piet hat, and go as Piet to the Sinterklaas landing"
Actually if you look at these two depictions, they are quite similar in terms of the relative sizes of the eyes, nose, and face. However, Sinterklaas is beige, which is the actual skin colour of light-skinned people, not "white". But Piet is completely black. He's not even dark brown, which makes the character look definitely non-human.

And during the landing and procession of Sinterklaas in Dutch cities, you can see many children dressing up as  little Piets, waiting for the 'real' i.e. grown-up Piets (with blackface) to come and give them candy. There are also loads of small-sized Piet costumes sold in supermarkets, toy and costume shops. So Sinterklaas is unique and no one dresses up like him (except that one white guy who acts as Sinterklaas in a city), but Zwarte Piet is not one unique person. He has no identity so anyone can be him!

On a pack of cookies

The Piet on the left looks drunk.

A little doll probably, actually drunk in a wine shop
There are more, of course. Get with the times, Netherlands!

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