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Old 12-11-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
diggy
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Default whut u know about 'Black Peter'?

In the folklore and legends of the Netherlands and Belgium, Zwarte Piet ( pronunciation (helpinfo)) (meaning Black Pete) is a companion of Saint Nicholas(Dutch: Sinterklaas) whose yearly feast in the Netherlands is usually celebrated on the evening of 5 December (Sinterklaas-avond, that is St. Nicolas Eve) and 6 December in Belgium, when they distribute sweets and presents to all good children.


The characters of Zwarte Pieten appear only in the weeks before Saint Nicholas's feast, first when the saint is welcomed with a parade as he arrives in the country (generally by boat, having traveled from Madrid, Spain). The tasks of the Zwarte Pieten are mostly to amuse children, and to scatter pepernoten and candies for those who come to meet the saint as he visits stores, schools, and other places....


According to myths dating to the beginning of the 19th century, Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) operated by himself or in the companionship of a devil. Having triumphed over evil, it was said that on Saint Nicholas Eve, the devil was shackled and made his slave. A devil as a helper of the Saint can also still be found in Austrian Saint Nicholas tradition in the character of Krampus.



Some sources indicate that in Germanic Europe, Zwarte Piet originally was such a mastered devil forced to assist his captor, but the character emerged in the 19th century within the Netherlands as a companion of Saint Nicholas resembling a Moor.[Saint Nicholas is said to come from Turkey. The relation of Zwarte Piet with Haji Firuz is incredibly close, Haji Firuz is a traditional herald of Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration, exactly black in the face and comes with Amoo Nowruz a white bearded old man who brings gifts for the children counter part of Western Santa....


Until the second half of the 20th century, Saint Nicholas' helper was not too bright, in line with the old colonial traditions. Once immigration started from the former colonised countries Zwarte Piet became a much more respected assistant of Saint Nicholas, who is often a bit inattentive, but playfull...


According to the more modern Saint Nicholas legend, a Zwarte Piet is a servant who accompanies Saint Nicholas on his holiday travels. In some versions, Saint Nicholas is said to have liberated a young slave named Peter, who decided to serve Nicholas. Zwarte Piet is today commonly depicted as a black person in the colorful pantaloons, feathered cap and ruffles of a Renaissance European page, a tradition that started based on a single illustration in a book published in 1850....


Zwarte Pieten are often portrayed as mischievous but rarely mean-spirited characters. The character is believed to have been derived from pagan traditions of evil spirits. Also told for decades is a story that the Zwarte Pieten are black because of chimney soot and/or in mockery of the darker Spanish occupiers of the Low Countries in centuries past.


....During recent years the role of Zwarte Pieten has become part of a recurring debate in the Netherlands. Controversial practices include holiday revellers blackening their faces, wearing afro wigs, gold jewellery and bright red lipstick,[9] and walking the streets throwing candy to passers-by....








http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwarte_Piet
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:34 AM   #3
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
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There's also an origin story that suggests that sinterklaas dipped a few kids in black ink because they were making fun of a black kid.

People saying this is racist should be arrested.
If you're not residing in the netherlands I don't care but this tradition has taken place for hundreds of years, what changed now?
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