Nieuws - 13 december 2012

Santa Claus v Sinterklaas

Unfortunately, so far, I have not have been able to celebrate Sinterklaas, as it should be done ...

I have heard of so many different ways of celebrating that I am quite lost about which is the correct method. Is it the 'Secret Sinterklaas' and short rhyming  poems? Or is it the gift-swapping dice game? All I know is that the Dutch love to celebrate the occasion and are more or less completely oblivious to Christmas.
I find the whole story of Sinterklaas quite intriguing, not to mention amusing. Sometime in the middle of November, the Pope's cheerier, and slightly hairier, long lost twin sails to the Netherlands in his boat with his small army of black slaves. He then travels around the country at his leisure for a month telling children that if they are naughty they will return with him to Spain... Now, I cannot see how in the current temperature, that this could be considered a threat!
The most amusing part for me is the stubbornness with which the Dutch insist that Sinterklaas is the true 'Father Christmas'. I have no problem with their argument and I accept maybe it is more religiously correct, but still, surely the fact that only the Netherlands and Belgium celebrate Sinterklaas, while the rest of us settle for Christmas, is enough to win this argument. Apparently it is not.
I do love the discovery of new cultures and traditions, especially the shock discovery of Sinterklaas, last year. On the other hand, having lost my keys and almost got hit by a car this week, I came to the conclusion that, due to my mildly sceptical point of view on Sinterklaas as Father Christmas, he might just hate me and put me with the naughty children...Sunny Spain here I come!