Zwarte Piet: Some Predictions and the Involvement of the United Nations

In the past days the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas has been criticised more severely than ever, or so it seems. The discussion culminated in the involvement of the United Nations a few days ago. U.N. reporters apparently received information that the tradition of Sinterklaas is in essence racist, and that Zwarte Piet, stupid and a servant, feeds the stereotype of Africans as second class citizens. Dutch citizens, activated by explicit racial accusations and demands to abolish their much-loved tradition, somewhat to my surprise revolted. Online petitions received hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’. Maurice de Hond, mostly known as a the most important ‘pollster’ about elections in the Netherlands, reported that a staggering 92% of Dutch people says that there is nothing to worry about, that there is no racism involved, and that it’s just about a great feast for children. Similarly, De Telegraaf (a Dutch newspaper) surveyed 5.000 people, finding similar conclusions.

I don’t wish to reiterate all the points one can find in public discussions; I do however want to make 3 points:

  1. The tradition is already lost: A prediction
  2. The tradition is already lost: The influence of current discussions on future celebrations
  3. The U.N. – WTF?!

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Why American and European soccer players won’t play chess together

Firstly, a brief note on my absence, since tomorrow it would have been 7 months since my last blog post. In April this year I started working as a strategy consultant at Deloitte. Life’s been slightly different than it was a student, sadly leaving practically no time for writing here.

A while ago Sarah and I were on a trip to the U.S. Somewhere along the trip we watched the soccer game of the U.S. versus Mexico. After the game goalkeeper Tim Howard and offensive midfielder Clint Dempsey were interviewed. Something caught my attention, but at first I didn’t really know what it was. Then it hit me: these guys actually know what they are talking about.

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