Archive for November 25th, 2008

Christmas Time…is here?

SinterklaasWell, at least snow is here. And Sinterklaas is also here, fresh from Spain with his black-faced minions. They were in Leiden this past Saturday to open up an H&M. (The nine-millionth H&M in Holland, for those who are counting.) I wasn’t at the opening, but I kept seeing those creepy Zwarte Piets everywhere. At the frite place, at Centraal Station…in my hellish nightmares. They’re also dolls in store displays, cut-outs in shop windows, and mascots on chocolate candy boxes. They vary from looking like actual black people to being total golliwogs. It’s very odd. Their are ones at the dangerously cartoonish end of the spectrum that look straight-up apish; those actually frighten me.

People keep telling me, “Oh, Piet just looks like that because he went down a chimney!” Right. Because chimney soot always leaves you with red lips and nappy hair.

Riiiggght.

Yes, I know I’m coming from an American perspective. Yes, I know the tradition is old. But would anyone miss it if Santa stopped attending The Birth of a Nation cast party? Would the children cry, or would the old people cry? I mean, come on, Holland. You’re not homogeneous anymore. This, clearly, can’t last like this forever.

Well, I’ll let David Sedaris narrate the whole explanation. And I’ll let Vince Guaraldi score it. Merry Sinterklaas to all.

Christmas Time Is Here by Vince Guaraldi


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