Amsterdam: Moroccans protect Saint Nicholas

After Saint Nicholas was pestered by Moroccan youth, the organizers of the Saint Nicholas parades decided to bring in several integrated Moroccan students to keep order. The problem is since then under control.

The past few years the Saint Nicholases had to deal with young ringleaders especially in Amsterdam-West. They pestered the Saint with sexist remarks, kicked his car and made his house visits impossible by beating on the windows or ringing the bell. Several Saint Nicholases threatened to quit and sometimes police protection was needed for mall visits.

Source: (Dutch)

See also: The Hague: Saint Nicholas heckled


The reason for the pestering and heckling? Expatica explains that it's simply an issue of Dutch racism. Apparently it is not the Dutch black who are doing the pestering, but that does not seem to bother Expatica. After all, they're all allochtoon, no?

The Sinterklaas tradition appears to be gradually fading in the multicultural Dutch society in the face of rising criticism to the saint's helpers, 'Zwarte Pieten' (Black Peters).

A Sinterklaas was attacked by youths at several locations in recent days and public broadcasters have indicated they want to start a debate on the Black Peters.

Debate about Zwarte Pieten has been intensifying in recent years, with some immigrant groups complaining about racist connotations, news service NIS reported on Tuesday.

Tradition, however, states that Sinterklaas' helpers are not black slaves, but have black faces from sliding down chimneys to deliver presents.

Sinterklaas, the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, arrives by steamboat from Spain at about 20 November each year to give presents to all children on 5 December.

Public broadcaster NOS reports on the arrival of Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten.

But this year, NOS reported that the steamboat sailed into a rainbow on the way to the Netherlands. As a result, the Zwarte Pieten have blue, green, yellow and red faces this year.

A debate has since erupted on internet forums about the alleged political correctness of NOS.

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