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Dutch self-image shaken by “Black Pete” debate

 Reuters 18 November 2019

According to folklore, when Saint Nicholas arrives in the Netherlands at the Christmas season, he is accompanied by his servant, Black Pete. At parades and pageants, the part of Black Pete is usually played by a white person in a “blackface” wearing a curly wig and a red-painted mouth. But the tradition has recently come under fire for being racist, stirring an emotional debate amongst the Dutch, who see themselves as tolerant, cool-headed and committed to social harmony. (1130 Words) - By Thomas Escritt

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Reuters_Dutch self-image shaken by “Black Pete” debate

A woman dressed as "Zwarte Piet" (Black Pete), the helper of Saint Nicholas (C), takes part in a traditional parade in central Brussels December 1, 2019.  Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

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