"Black Pete" pulled from parade
After much criticism the Dutch embassy has decided to pull its minstrel-figure Zwarte Piet, Black Peter, from a parade through Stockholm this coming weekend.
The African-Swedish Association wrote a letter to the Dutch embassy demanding that the black-face figure be removed from the parade, on grounds that it is based on racist stereotypes of black people.
"You take white people and paint them black. It is connected to slavery, of which Holland was one of the biggest perpetrators," the association's chair Zakarias Zouhir told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
Black Peter is still going to be participating in the celebrations inside the embassy, but with a slightly changed appearance.
"He is going to look a little different, maybe a different color face. I do not really know. It is difficult to change the celebration completely, this is a long tradition and it is a celebration for children at the embassy," embassy spokesperson Frank Schipper told Dagens Nyheter.
The celebration of the holiday Sinterklaas is arranged by the Dutch Club, with support from the embassy.