Of course, the debate is not new. But have the two sides of the argument really heard each other?
Many see Piet as a harmless tradition, associated with fond memories of childhood and family. Yet an increasing number of people throughout the Netherlands question Piet's history as tied to historical forms of entertainment that mocked the appearance and character of black people. So where exactly does the tradition come from? And what, if anything, does it have to do with practices of blackface and minstrelsy in other parts of the world? And why should any of it matter to a traditional Dutch person seeking to celebrate Sinterklaas as it has been done for more than 100 years?
John Helsloot (folklore historian from the Meertens Institute) will provide the historical background of Zwarte Piet's origins as Sinterklaas' servant and his rise to popularity. Then both sides of the pro vs. anti-Piet discussion will be represented in a moderated discussion, followed by audience comments.
Date:Tuesday November 29th, 8 pm
Location: CREA Muziekzaal
Admission: students free, others € 5,-