Wake Up White Dutch People; What having to change your traditions/history because a few are offended doesn't hurt?!? I call it ANTI-WHITE!
The "Black Peter" tradition in the Netherlands is under fire from opponents who believe the figure is a racist caricature and who asked Amsterdam officials Thursday to revoke the permit for a popular children's festival because of it.
Zwarte PietZwarte Piet (pronounced ['zʋɑrtə pit], "Black Pete"; French: Père Fouettard [pɛʁ fwɛtaʁ], "Father Whip") is a companion of Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas) in the folklore of the Low Countries, whose yearly feast in the Netherlands is usually celebrated on the evening of 5 December (Sinterklaasavond, that is, St. Nicholas' Eve) and 6 December in Belgium, when they distribute sweets and presents to all good children.The original Zwarte Piet is sometimes associated with Knecht Ruprecht, but in the Low Countries the tradition has not merged with Christmas.The Dutch now celebrate Sinterklaas (5 December) with an exchange of gifts. These presents are given anonymously, but are often accompanied by poems, Sinterklaasgedicht, signed by Zwarte Piet or Sint, which are read aloud during Sinterklaas evening for the enjoyment of the ones assembled. The poems are often of a teasing nature.The first origin of Sinterklaas and his helpers can probably be found in the Wild Hunt of Wodan. Riding the white horse Sleipnir he flew through the air as the leader of the Wild Hunt. He was always accompanied by two black ravens, Huginn and Muninn.  Those helpers would listen, just like Zwarte Piet, at the chimney - which was just a hole in the roof at that time - to tell Wodan about the good and bad behaviour of the mortals. During Christianization, Pope Gregory I argued that conversions were easier if people were allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditions, while claiming that the traditions were in honour of the Christian God; the Saint Nicolas tradition is one of them, converting Wodan to a Christian counterpart.
The characters of Zwarte Pieten appear only in the weeks before Saint Nicholas's feast, first when the saint is welcomed with a parade as he arrives in the country (generally by boat, having traveled from Madrid, Spain). The tasks of the Zwarte Pieten are mostly to amuse children, and to scatter pepernoten, kruidnoten and strooigoed (special sinterklaas candies) for those who come to meet the saint as he visits stores, schools, and other places.
"Sinterklaas," the Dutch version of Santa Claus, is portrayed as a tall white man who arrives to great fanfare on Nov. 5, accompanied by dozens of clownish servants called "Zwarte Pieten" _ Black Petes. These are typically white people wearing blackface makeup with red lips and curly "Afro" wigs.
Festivities around the country last a month, culminating in a night of poems and gift-giving.
The tradition is an important part of Dutch culture, but in recent years there have been growing complaints that Pete is offensive.
On Thursday, dozens of protesters overflowed a hearing about the permit at Amsterdam City Hall.
One of 21 people who filed formal complaints, Imro Rietveld, described growing up as the only black-skinned child in his class. Every year, he said he was subjected to a month of taunts such as "your whole family is coming over in the boat" and "can you do tricks?"
He said some people are afraid to speak out against Black Pete because they are worried about being ridiculed or even losing their jobs, and he had been warned against coming.
"For the good of all the children," Rietveld said. "This should actually be changed in the whole country."
Opponents say the Sinterklaas festival should continue, but Pete's appearance should be changed. Supporters dismiss opponents as "whiney-Petes."
Mayor Eberhard van der Laan will rule on the Amsterdam permit by the end of the month.
"The mayor thinks this is a societal debate, not something for politicians to decide," his spokeswoman Tahira Limon said.
But "if a segment of the population feels hurt, that's something the city government has to take into account" in its decisions.
I n Orkney, indeed, across most of northern Europe, belief in the Wild Hunt was once widespread. In the islands, little remains of the belief today.
The form of the Wild Hunt, or Raging Host, varied across each of the geographical locations/ in which the tradition was found. But the basic idea was generally the same - a phantasmal leader, accompanied by a horde of hounds and men, hurtled through the night sky, their passing marked by a tumultuous racket of pounding hooves, howling dogs and raging winds.
The quarry of this spectral horde also varies. Norse legend, for example, suggests objects such as a boar, a wild horse and even magical maidens.
Later Christian influences had the Wild Hunt summoning the souls of evildoers, sinners and unbaptised infants.
But one theme was common to all - to see the Wild Hunt was a very bad omen, usually foretelling a time of strife or death.
Before we consider how the Wild Hunt was found in Orkney, we should first take a brief look at the tradition as it was found elsewhere.