Hi to everyone, I'm new to the site, does anyone have kids who are afraid of the Zwarte Piets? My kids are terrified of them! Troble is they're all over the place at the moment, they sent my little 5 year old into a jibbering wreck.
Ah, Zwarte Piet again ;-)
This is so embedded into Dutch culture/folklore, everyone is in on this party. Dutch telly has the so-called Sinterklaasjournaal (see http://www.omroep.nl/nps/sinterklaasjournaal/ ) which is really cool. It is just like the real news, only centered around Sinterklaas and his helpers Zwarte Pieten. This year they are doing something with Red Balloons, and they got Job Cohen (Mayor of Amsterdam) and Ivo Opstelten (Rotterdam) also participating in this!
My kids will drop everything as soon as it is time for the Sinterklaasjournaal (my eldest son (7) doesn't believe in Sinterklaas anymore since 2 months - but the whole thing has him hyped up again!)
It has been a tradition at their school that the "Rommel Piet" (Messy Pete) visits them once a year and makes a mess (turning over desks and chairs, hiding keys of classrooms, etc).
I think I will be a little bit sad when the youngest (4) proclaims he does not believe it any longer.
On the other hand: welcome XMAS crackers and selection boxes and everything christmassy ;-)
disclaimer: I am not an expat or English.
I'm not an expat but... I expect Dutch children would find Halloween rather more frightening than Black Peters who are quite jolly.
So are they frightened of Black Peters but not of witches and walking skeletons? Tough kids!