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Saturday, 05 December 2009


I spotted these people “blacked up” and selling chocolate bars at a railway station in the Netherlands recently. I was taken aback because this would generally be considered racist in the UK. But is it racist behaviour in other cultures and situations?

There are a number of definitions of racism, see the Childline definitions and wikipedia.

My own concern is that the sales staff from Droste Chocolates have not only blacked up their faces but they are dressed as simpletons, possibly clowns. This reinforces my impression that there is an element of “having fun at the expense of another group”. A different impression would be given if they were dressed as Grace Jones clones, say. This is strange marketting from a company that aspires to sell high quality chocolate. It is a big name Dutch company that has an effect named after it.

Posted by bigblue on 05/12/2009 at 06:24 PM
Filed under: EuropeNetherlands • (4) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

That’s a funny coincidence, I was just reading this..
and then I saw your post too!

Posted by kipperfrog  on  05/12/2009  at  11:50 PM

Gosh, thanks kipperfrog. That link explains a lot!

Posted by bigblue  on  07/12/2009  at  12:08 AM

Don’t they represent Zwart Piet, helpers of St Nicholas (Sinterklaas)?

Posted by SteveH  on  01/01/2010  at  04:00 PM

Yes, exactly! I had never heard of him before.

Posted by bigblue  on  02/01/2010  at  08:11 PM

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