Joy and criticism for Pieten Parade

Zwarte Piet celebrations and criticisms, In Eindhoven, extra sunday shopping, demonstrations
Photo Credit: Eindhoven Media Library

The Zwarte Piet parade in Eindhoven centrum was a lot of fun, but there it was also criticised.

With their dancing and singing the Pieten definitely made a lot of children smile. Children could tell them what they wanted from Sinterklaas. This year’s wish list includes all kinds of things: dolls, lego, space scooters, and even underwater cameras.

Traditionally, the parade is held on a Sunday close to Sinterklaas eve. It has a unique history. “In 2000 and 2001, the shopkeepers requested for an extra shopping day on Sunday”, says Ben Rijken, the parade’s organiser. “But since this day was outside the regular Shoppers’ Sundays, we wanted to do something special. In this way, people knew that there was an extra Shoppers’ Sunday.”


There was also a demonstration against Zwarte Piet, organised by Kick Out Zwarte Piet and Eindhoven Kan Het. With banners and signs, activists expressed their dissatisfaction with what they saw as the ‘racist appearance’ of Sinterklaas‘ helpers of. There were also speeches, poems, and music on a small stage.


Translator: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Dutch classes in Meerhoven. Click for more info.

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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