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Festive fun or racism? Dutch 'Black Pete' row gets violent


  • World
  • Monday, 19 Nov 2018

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - An annual pre-Christmas festival in the Netherlands this weekend was marred by scuffles and arrests as rival groups demonstrated their views on a blackface character who traditionally accompanies the arrival of St. Nicholas.

Opponents of Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, say the custom of white people donning black face paint, red lipstick and frizzy wigs is racist. But a majority of Dutch people, with fond childhood memories of the start of the gift-giving season every Nov. 17, see it as harmless fun.

   

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