In recent days, there has been a lot of buzz about a children’s party with an alternative Santa Claus for parents and children who want to question racial and gender stereotypes. The relevant ships and the artist herself have received threats. Ghent police contacted the Viernulvier Cultural Center to discuss the safety of a similar display in De Vooruit.
A partner organization of the city of Ghent booked the event and secured a room in the city hall. But city mayor Matthias de Klerk (Open Vld) had pointed out that Queen Nicola was not welcome in the city hall on December 6, so as not to give the impression that she was an “official saint.” About 300 children and their parents have already registered.
The artist, who takes on the character of Sinterklaas in a unique way, braids his hair into a miter shape and also performs activities similar to the classic Santa Claus, such as distributing tangerines. But the artistic performance is a thorn in the side of some local and national politicians, who described the initiative as “more woke than woke.”
The issue was debated in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday, with some members claiming that Sinterklaas in Ghent had been “replaced” by a black woman. But the traditional Saint Nicholas actually celebrated his arrival in Ghent on November 19. A thousand children came to see the formal inauguration of a white man on a boat flanked by Bates. The Queen Nicola event was later removed from the city hall’s agenda.
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