It’s Christmas Day today in Belgium, known locally as Sinterklaas. You might already think the country is quirky at times. Today’s celebrations probably confirm this.
|Blacking up all over Belgium and Holland|
Why? Well the Belgian Father Christmas, Saint Claus (aka Santa Claus) has a sidekick. Who is called Zwarte Piet or Black Peter. And I’m not talking about Peter Van Petegem, the rider nicknamed “the blackman of Brakel”. It’s a jaw-dropping example of racism.
I realise this is not the normal terrain of The Inner Ring so I won’t say too much on this, it’s an old tradition that continues today. Essentially the story goes that Piet is Santa’s little slave and if children behave badly then the black man will put them in his bag and kidnap them. Read more on Wikipedia, for the full story. More positively lots of well behaved Belgian kids today are getting bags of nuts, tangerines and small gifts.