Dictionary of Dutchness

Zwarte Piet

Nothing raises more Dutch hackles than criticism of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), the black helpers who accompany Sinterklaas (Father Christmas) and distribute ginger-nut biscuits to children. The character first appears in a 1850s book as the Sint’s Moorish page, wearing the familiar bloomers and earrings, but without a name. The name came in a later book, and his black face is now said to be due to the soot he picked up climbing down chimneys to deliver presents rather than any racial significance.

All typical untranslatable Dutch words and expressions translated in the Dictionairy of Dutchness
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