Ceci n’est pas l’histoire | Dries Verhoeven
Ceci n'est pas de l'histoire*
Dutch slavery was abolished in 1863, after approx. 350 years. Around the same time, helper 'Peter' was introduced for the first time in a children's book. One of the stories about his origins states that he was bought at the slave-market in Myra (Turkey) by Saint Nicholas. The Dutch feel very nostalgic about Zwarte Piet (meaning Black Pete).
Many of them feel the discussion about changing his skin colour is some kind of exaggerated political correctness. In order to respond to protests from the coloured community, some attempts were made to reduce references to slavery: The manservant lost his Surinam accent and golden earrings. Afro-hair was replaced by black curls. His roe (a chimney sweep's broom made of willow branches), disappeared. What remained was his talent for acrobatics and his black skin.
*This is not history
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