How Coloured is Your View on the Zwarte Piet & Sinterklaas Tradition?

Even the UN had something to say about Zwarte Piet in the Dutch Sinterklaas celebration. Join us for a debate, followed by two expert contributions and dialogue. From newcomers who can’t believe their eyes, to those who faithfully await something in their shoes – all are welcome.

Organisator Studium Generale en Wageningen Debating

do 20 november 2014 20:00

Locatie Forum C222

The boat has arrived and Sinterklaas is on his horse
So we put traditions under the spotlight at Studium Generale of course
To get a grip on why Sint & Piet lead to divergent reactions
We begin with a debate between two extreme factions

Use a voting machine and know your position
But use this evening to see how ideas are in transition
So we then let experts review this history
They will look at the meanings in cultural evolution and undo the mystery

Explore the complexity and mechanics behind the emotion
And tour the dynamics behind the commotion
Join us for an evening which can nuance your view
Challenge your frame of reference and you could discover something new


Gábor Kozijn is cultural entrepreneur, historian and heritage specialist. His expertise lies in the analysis of the concepts of folk culture and intangible heritage. Amongst others, he has collaborated with the Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur en Immaterieel Erfgoed (VIE) (The Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Intangible Heritage).  In the heritage sector, he has been a project leader and  freelance researcher.  In this capacity, he presented the results of an investigation on the perceptions of Zwarte Piet within the Netherlands to the UN UNESCO committee recently in Holland to review the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition.  He teaches at the Reinwardt Academy which offers the Bachelor of Cultural Heritage. Gábor Kozijn received his Master degree in  Cultural Heritage (honours) at the University of Amsterdam.

Maykel Verkuyten is Professor at Utrecht University. He is a an anthropologist and social psychologist working at the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is also the academic director of the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic relations (ERCOMER) at Utrecht University. His main research interests are in questions of ethnic/religious/national identity and intergroup relations. His work features examination of the various consequences of these identities, including well-being, group evaluations, and collective behaviour and the content of social identities in relation to intergroup attitudes.     

See his latest book: "Identity and cultural diversity: what social psychology can teach us"

Wageningen Debating has collaborated with studium Generale in this event