Thread: Thanksgiving
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Old 2015-11-28, 19:00   #26
Brian-E's Avatar
Jul 2007
The Netherlands

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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
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.
Thanks for the insight into Austrian traditions. It is fascinating.
I certainly don't call you old-fashioned to like non-PC traditions. There doesn't seem to be much of a young-old divide here between the majority who can't see anything wrong with Zwarte Piet and those who think he's a racist stereotype. What there most certainly is, however, is a clear association with rejecting Black Pete as a stereotype and not having grown up with him as a child. That's my situation of course: I am Dutch, feel Dutch, and have lived in the country for 22 years, but I didn't grow up here so I have no emotional attachment to children's traditions here.
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