Thread: Thanksgiving
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Old 2015-11-28, 08:30   #24
ewmayer's Avatar
Sep 2002
Rep├║blica de California

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Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Hmmm, very interesting!
I hadn't heard of Krampus, but now that I've read about this figure I have to say no. Zwarte Piet is definitely human, and also a lot more friendly than Krampus seems to be, helping Sinterklaas when he turns up on a horse (from Spain, apparently), and giving pepernoten (which are small sweets a bit like gingerbread) to the children. The problem - and now I'm being controversial because most people here still don't see it as a problem at all - is that ZP is frequently played by a white person with a blacked-up face, exaggeratedly large lips, and large gold earrings, and he is seen as a servant to the inevitably white Sint.
Here Wikipedia:

Krampus and Black Pete are distinct characters, but both part of the annual early December Feast of St. Nicholas. Growing up in Austria we kids always looked forward eagerly to Nikolo (= the feast day, as well as the nickname for, well, St. Nick), on which locals would dress up and play the various parts: Nikolo to hand out treats to the good children and Krampus to scare 'em with his Rute (bushel of switches, the better to beat naughty kids with - more threatening to do so than actually following through). In my memory Schwarze Peter plays a lesser role, something like a kindly trickster. (But memory might be faulty there.) Call me old-fashioned, but I like the good old definitively non-PC holiday traditions, as long as they were done in fundamentally kindly fashion.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2015-11-28 at 08:31
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