Posts

Zwarte Piet
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Dutch History; Zwarte Piet.

Zwarte Piet is a controversial character – whether you believe him to be racist or not, in this article we will be taking a look instead at Zwarte Piets’ history, where did he come from, and who exactly is he. Zwarte Piet (Black Pete)…
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My First Sinterklaas

This past weekend on the evening of December 5th, I celebrated my first Sinterklaas. I first learned of the old Dutch custom earlier this year when moving to Haarlem with my Dutch boyfriend. As a Canadian new to the tradition, I would like…
Sinterklaas
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Sinterklaas versus Santa Claus

They both work in the same sector, wear red, and have a big white beard. For Piet's sake: what's the difference?  The Big Day Sinterklaas: Sinterklaas' "heerlijk avondje" / delicious is 5 December, although Sint arrives with a steamer…
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Hij komt. Sinterklaas arrives!

This Sunday 13 November, St Nicholas will once again be arriving on the river Spaarne to visit the city centre of Haarlem. The boat is on its way. Nearly half filled with presents, chocoladeletters and pepernoten but who and what will…
Gevulde Speculaas uit het Grote Sinterklaas Kookboek
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Gevulde Speculaas uit het Grote Sinterklaas Kookboek (Dutch)

Sint is in het land en dat vieren wij. Met een enorme plak gevulde speculaas. Heerlijk voor kinderen èn volwassenen. Het recept komt uit Het Grote Sinterklaas Kookboek. Inderdaad: dat is hét grote boek voor de bak- en braadpiet! Yolanda…
Dutch Language exercise: Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet

Dutch Language exercise: Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet

Dutch Language exercise: choose the correct answer for each of the gaps. Sinterklaas woont in Spanje en Zwarte Piet is zijn helper. De Sint is een oude plan man maan baan met een lange witte baard. Hij heeft een mijter op zijn hoofd…
Intocht Sinterklaas
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Hij komt. Sinterklaas arrives!

On Sunday, November 15th Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) will be back with his helpers in Haarlem.  The boat from Spain is on its the way. Nearly half filled with presents, chocolate letters and pepernoten but who and what will Sinterklaas…
Zwarte Piet Debate – A Call to Action (Photo DW)

Zwarte Piet Debate – A Call to Action

Not your typical Zwarte Piet Debate article - this one isn't opinionated, but written from a Nonviolent Communication-based mediator’s—Cara Crisler—point of view with a call to action for mutual understanding and compassion. The…
An interview with Sinterklaas (Photo: Rodi)
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An interview with Sinterklaas

The Shallow Man recently had the dubious honor of interviewing the world’s angriest not black man, Zwarte Piet. Like many of his supporters, I found him to be very emotional, irrational and downright aggressive. There were a number of questions…
An interview with Zwarte Piet (Photo: de Volkskrant)
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An interview with Zwarte Piet

The Shallow Man, in his never ending quest to fulfil the requests of his readers, went to great efforts to secure an interview with the man who is a hero to so many Dutch children. A man, that to many represents the very essence of Dutch culture,…
10 ways to fit into Dutch society
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10 ways to fit into Dutch society

It’s another beautiful day in the Netherlands, time to sit on a terrace and have the pleasure of inhaling cigarette smoke from those sitting nearby. If Van Gogh and Rembrandt were alive today, their paintings would feature buxom ladies with…