News

23

Oct 2013

Poll: Should Dutch Clowns Wear Black Face?

Tradition is part of "Sinterklass" festival ...
By L'Oreal Thompson

Poll: Should Dutch Clowns Wear Black Face?


Like many people, I (naively) assumed the trend of entertainers proudly donning black face was a clear no-no. Apparently, I was wrong.

The organizers behind a Dutch Facebook page are lobbying to save one of the country’s (ahem) traditions, which involves clowns in black face makeup known as “Black Petes.” The clowns are a part of Amsterdam’s fall festival “Sinterklaas.”

Earlier this week, a U.N. expert called the tradition racist; however, Dutch people feel as though outsiders are judging without truly understanding the origins.

The festival, which takes place in mid-November, celebrates the arrival of St. Nicholas and his helpers, known as “Black Petes.” The clowns also wear red lips and curly black hair.

Some people are calling the tradition offensive, while supporters of the Facebook page believe it’s harmless fun.  We think we know your vote, but just for fun, weigh in on our poll:

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