November 18, 2012

That time of the year already?



Saint Nicolas/ Sinterklaas is celebrated on December 6 but as the holy man arrived by boat in Antwerp yesterday and as the shop windows display the chocolate version, here he is in plenty of time for everyone to get ready.
"Sinterklaas is an old, good-natured bearded man dressed in a bishop's uniform. He lives in Spain most of the year, but traditionally arrives in the Lower Countries by steam boat....He is accompanied by several black helpers who are all called "Black Pete" ("Zwarte Piet").And then, on Sinterklaas Eve (December 5), children traditionally put their shoes next to the chimney and sing carols. That night, Sinterklaas climbs through every chimney and puts presents next to or in the children's shoes.
In morerecent politically correct times, "Black Pete" has caused a lot of confusion and controversy with foreign tourists unfamiliar with the tradition. Nobody in Belgium or the Netherlands would ever see Zwarte Piet as an African stereotype, but nowadays his dark skin is sometimes explained to children as being a result of the chimney dirt. Thus Zwarte Piet isn't an actual black man, just a person who should wash more often. His threatening image has been downplayed as well. He is no longer a Scary Black Man who wants to punish kids, but a jolly, playful manchild who provides comic relief to the audience".
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Sinterklaas

26 comments:

  1. up until december 6th I usually look forward to xmas. after that I generally gets too much. therefore today I can like a post like this a lot :)

    happy sunday!

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  2. I like this explanation of Zwarte Piet. I have to confess to being slightly horrified when I came across the legend of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet about five years ago - that would be deeply offensive in South Africa! But yes, this explanation does go towards explaining it and how it isn't meant to offend.

    Just wanted to let you know - your second photo doesn't appear to be showing up!

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    1. Thank you, Emm for informing me that picture 2 did not show up.
      I understand how the legend can be offensive to many and particularly to people in certain parts of the world.
      I hope the explanation helps a bit.

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  3. Love the info you've included about Sinterklaas! It is getting close to that time of year!! Time does fly whether you're having fun or not!! Have a great week, Anni!!

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  4. idd de brave man heeft zijn itrede al gedaan de kerstman staat al klaar om zijn intrede ook te doen :)

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  5. Aan de verpakking te zien, Anni, de 'betere' chocolade !
    Lie(f)s.

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  6. It never occured to me to see Zwarte Piet as an African stereotype...he seemed like the black imps of Scottish folklore, who seemed to be associated with smithies and fire.
    Perhaps one might explain to foreigners that they are labouring under a misconception, rather than altering the nature of Zwarte Piet.

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    1. when I was a child - a while ago- the explanation for the black color was that it was a consequence of Piet visiting the children's' houses by sliding down the chimney with presents.

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  7. Bonjour, je suis originaire de nord de la France, donc je ne connais pas de cette façon. Chez nous il ne remplace pas le père Noël. Ala Sainte Catherine les garçons envoient des cartes aux filles et pour la Saint Nicolas, c'est le contraire. Merci pour tes explications, c'est toujours très intéressant de connaitre les coutumes des autres pays. Une magnifique photo. Celui en chocolat m'intéresse, je suis toujours gourmand.

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    1. plein de Saint Nics en chocolat, ici !! et cela ne fait que commencer...

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  8. Hallo Anni
    Mooie beelden van de eetbare en niet eetbare goed heilig man.
    Groeten Bets

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  9. Ha, bij jullie is ie ook aangekomen. Hij heeft het druk, ook in Nederland is hij gearriveerd met zijn Zwarte Pieten. Fijne avond Anni, lieve groeten, Dietmut

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  10. Ooh... geef me zo'n chocolade man!
    Sinterklaas, bisschop en kindervriend. Kan dat nog?

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    1. laten we ons misschien op de chocola concentreren, Jeroen!

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  11. Hallo Anni,
    Ik vraag mij af wat hij dit jaar in mijn schoentje (maat 44)gaat leggen :-))
    Ik wens je een aangename week,
    Frans

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    Replies
    1. zo'n maatje kan dus soms toch wel een echt voordeel zijn!

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  12. Ja, hij is er alweer, de jaren vliegen voorbij, het voelt of hij net is vertrokken en nu alweer voor je staat ha, ha.

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    1. daar ben ik het volledig met eens, biebkriebels.

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  13. waar is de tijd dat ik als kind en later mijn vier zonen ons schoentje zette aan de haard, met een wortel voor het paard en een pint voor de Sint...

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    1. wortel dat wel, maar een pint voor de Sint ! dat is toch wel speciaal, Hilde
      hier zetten wij een glas melk :)

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  14. we houden het op Sint-Maarten Anni..

    ook ik had mijn schoen gezet, mar noppes...

    fine dag

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    Replies
    1. wat jammer, Willy!
      ik zal een goed woordje voor u plaatsen bij de Sint op 5/6 december

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