Sinterklaas celebrations included in Dutch cultural heritage list

Dancers dressed as Zwarte PietThe Dutch Sinterklaas celebration, including the controversial character of Zwarte Piet, has finally been included in the country’s official cultural heritage list.

The tradition was recommended for inclusion by the Sint & Pieten guild.

The official recognition for Sinterklaas does not involve any value judgements, Ineke Strouken, director of the cultural heritage centre VIE said.

‘It is the community which makes the traditions and shows which traditions are important to them,’ she said.

The centre was set up by the education and culture ministry to record the Netherlands ‘immaterial’ cultural heritage – such as rituals and traditions.

The Zundert Bloemencorso flower parade, the Boxmeerse Vaart procession, the slow gliding style of Dutch skating and the Sint Maartens celebrations in Utrecht are already included on list.

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