New Sinterklaas story for children in Amsterdam
If you have lived through the Christmas period in the Netherlands, you will have probably heard of Sinterklaas and his helpers the Piets. However, you may not have grown up with the story, like the majority of parents in Amsterdam, who have a non-Dutch background.
A different story for the famous figure
The children of Amsterdam are getting a new story concerning the famous figure that is Sinterklaas. This story will be one that aligns better with children aged four to seven in the Dutch capital, whom, for the majority, have a non-Dutch background.
In fact, according to the Amsterdam Department for Research, Information and Statistics (OIS), 44 percent of children between the ages of four and seven in Amsterdam have a non-western immigration background and an additional 15 perfect have a western immigration background. This means that almost 60 percent of children in Amsterdam have parents who didn’t grow up with the story of Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas is a holiday meant for everyone, and this is the reason why the story has been given an update. The initiator of the book, and also the spokesperson for the foundation Sint in Amsterdam, Pam Evenhuis, said, “we want to keep the Sinterklaas tradition alive, to please the children”. The picture book “Het verhaal van Sinterklaas”, or The story of Sinterklaas, is a part of the classic picture book series “Gouden Boekjes”, or Golden Books.
In this version of the holiday tale, written by children’s book author Sjoerd Kuyper and illustrated by Emanuel Wiemans, Sinterklaas doesn’t travel in on a steamboat or have Black Piets as his helpers. Instead, he travels on a sailing ship, as he was travelling the world and has picked up friends along the way, de Piets.
Accessible for all
The book places emphasis on the international character of Sinterklaas, having been born in Turkey and living in Spain, and is especially for the many parents from abroad living in Amsterdam, to give them an idea of the Sinterklaas story. Of course, not every international parent speaks Dutch, but that is not a problem, as the book is also being published in English, making it accessible for all.