Kralendijk – The Government of Bonaire has decided not to allow the traditional arrival of Sinterklaas to Bonaire this year. Instead, there will be an alternative digital program.
From this year onward, just as is the case in The Netherlands, the controversial figure of “Black Pete” will disappear from future celebrations of the Dutch tradition.
Deputy Nina den Heyer held consultations with the committee which normally organizes the yearly arrival of Sinterklaas. “The role and appearance of “Black Pete” is nowadays seen as offensive and with a racist background by part of the population. There are also indications that there are children who experience this period as unpleasant”, said Den Heyer.
Den Heyer also said he Executive Council feels that these signals need to be taken into to account. “It is important to organize a celebration that is positively and safely experienced by young and old. The Executive Council therefore wants the adjustments and changes on Bonaire to be done step by step”, according to the Commisioner.
From this year onward, the colors of the Petes will be different from previous years and will have several colors. The black-colored helpers are no longer allowed during the official arrival of Sinterklaas on Bonaire.
Apart from the changes to the setup of the traditional event, this year the celebrations can also not move ahead because of the Covid-measures. According to Den Heyer, a choice has been made to have the celebrations this year in a digital way.