For those of you who don’t know: where I’m from Christmas only comes in second. Number one on the list of December holidays and precedent to your Santa Claus (may I remind you, Mrs. Mean UN Woman) is St. Nicholas, whose presence we celebrate on the fifth of December (or on the sixth in Germany and Belgium). He looks similar to Santa Claus, with a red outfit and all, but rides a white horse instead of a reindeer-pulled sleigh. His elves are much taller than santa’s and black, because they crawl through chimneys to bring presents to little kids. We celebrate with lots of nice little treats, singing and poems. The food is really my prefered part, as in any festive event.
Currently all Dutch media, politics and even the UN occupy themselves with the question whether St. Nicholas and Black Peter are racist because some bored nitwits, that clearly have racist minds themselves for noticing, link the white man with black helpers to slavery and therefore accuse all those little five-year-olds and their parents of being racist for celebrating.
Anyways, enough for politics. I’ve never been much of a St. Nicholas fan and always liked Santa Claus better. Maybe because my mom, who was not Dutch, didn’t really understand what to do and we didn’t celebrate it that much.
Still I wanted to wish you all a happy belated St. Nicholas! And tell me? Is this racist?
P.S.: I am really lazy and in a hurry so I linked some articles to help you gain a better understanding of this Dutch tradition.
- St. Nicholas (saintpatrickk.com)
- Saint Nicholas Day (feast day) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia (drweb.typepad.com)
- 13 Internet memes about the time when jolly old St. Nicholas punched a heretic (stpeterslist.com)
- St. Nicholas Day (tweedsmuirlibrary.wordpress.com)