Saturday, December 5

Sinterklaas

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Today I tell you about the elaborate hoax that is SinterKlaas.

The concept of Santa Claus comes from the legend of SinterKlaas, which is a big part of the culture in this part of the world. The name itself is derived from Saint Nicholas and the story goes that SinterKlaas comes by boat from Spain every year and stays here for a few days, going all over the place, giving gifts.

A colleague told me that his child's school had a programme complete with sacks of gifts and Sinterklaas and his helpers Zwarte Piets (translation: Black Petes) making an appearance. Even now you see kids dressed in Sinterklaas hats or blackened faces walking around the place.

The illusion is maintained through National TV, where the man's arrival is covered with more ferocity than the news. There are also micro tales around the larger story that are fabricated.

For example, they may say that the Zwarte Piets' balloons drifted away and now they cannot welcome the old man unless the kids go out and find them all. And, of course, that means that parents need to go plant balloons around the house so that the child might find them to extend the illusion.

The whole thing's quite cute actually and the folks here make a really big deal of it all, since it's a big part of the year for the little humans. Tomorrow (well, it's past midnight, so I should say today) is the feast day for Sinterklaas. And that's the day of giving gifts. That's nice. I hope my wife knows. And you too, dear reader. I hope you know. That tomorrow you can give me a gift. A nice one.

Happy Sinterklaas feast to ye all. And if you're interested in knowing more, you know where to go!

[Photo courtesy: Wikipedia]

On another note, I am contemplating calling my blog Daily Humor and knowledge now. What a resource it must be for all my readers who haven't yet given me a gift and yet read this so guiltlessly.

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