International report

Netherlands St Nicholas festival accused of racism

Audio 03:17
Saint Nicholas waves next to one of his assistants called Black Pete during a traditional parade in Brussels
Saint Nicholas waves next to one of his assistants called Black Pete during a traditional parade in Brussels Reuters/Francois Lenoir/Files

While most of Europe gears up for Christmas, in the Netherlands the focus is on Saint Nicholas's Day, Sinterklaas as the Dutch call it. The 6 December festivity has aroused claims of racism recently because the saint’s helper, known as Black Pete, sports a black face, thick red lips and curly hair. Many are now saying the figure must go.