Saint Nicholas came to daddy’s work. Along with Black Pete. Yep. Black Pete. In the Netherlands tradition Black Pete accompanies Saint Nicolas, sort of like a trusty side kick. He hands out candy and cookies to kids, great right? However, much to the awkwardness of a lot of people, it is a white guy in black face.
Taken from Wikipedia:
“The role of Zwarte Pieten (Black Pete) has become part of a recurring debate in the Netherlands. Controversial practices include holiday revellers blackening their faces and wearing afro wigs, gold jewelry and bright red lipstick, and walking the streets throwing candy to passers-by.
Foreign tourists, particularly those from the United States and Britain, often experience culture shock when encountering the character, as dressing in blackface is a social taboo in these and other countries. Since the 1990s, there have been several attempts to introduce a new kind of Zwarte Piet to the Dutch public, among them replacing traditional black makeup with various other shades of colours. As an experiment in 2006, the NPS (en: Dutch Programme Foundation) replaced the black Pieten with rainbow-colored Pieten but reverted the characters back to the traditional all-black makeup a year later.”
But, despite the racism, we all had a great time. Zane asked for a Woody and Buzz Lightyear, Lily wanted a Chocolate Lolly Maker. This beats their requests last year which were, string cheese for Zane and a candy yo-yo for Lily.
Zane very clearly explaining exactly what he wanted for Christmas, Lily terrified.
Party in lobby, less culturally taboo.