who puts coal in your stocking if you've been bad. I've always seen Sinter Klaas written as two separate words. and Zwarte Piet was his counter part or servant, definitely not a slave. However since the 19th Century Minstrel craze which was picked up in Europe too, the black faced Zwarte Piet has become confused with the black faced pseudo African-American minstrels.
Should you be interested there's a little segment in Miracle on 34th Street where Kris Kringle as Macy's Santa Claus sings the Dutch kids song Danke Sinter Klaas with a little girl who is new to the United States. This may be a Hollywood nod to orphans adopted by American parents and American Servicemen with wives. The movie falls into the right time period.
The Guardian's writer seems thoroughly confused as to his linguistic Dutch too. Black Peter is Zwarte Piet or Zwarte Pietr, more than one Black Peter is Zwarten Pieten or Pietren. His writing seems to mix the two regularly.
The Dutch have always been clear that Zwarte Piet is actually white under all the soot, but it is the Extreme Right in Holland who have added the racial overtones to the term and it is a post 1980's twist. That's the trouble with the Right, you can't trust them to respect original meanings if twisting them will enable them to put down a racial group, or a gender group or misrepresent their opponents.
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