Tagarchief: mr. Camille Baly

SXM 1967 Sinterklaas Black Peter officially welcomed by Lt. Governor mr. Japa Beaujon

Homemovie shot by mr. Fons Connor, in possesion of former teacher Reint Laan, who played the part of the official Sinterklaas, togetjher with mr. Kees Pleit, in the role of Black Peter. When mr.Camille Baly wrote an article on this subject in the New Age weekly, Reint Laan vowed never to play Sinterklaas again, until this very day!
This is the article mr.Baly wrote:
From the editors desk, December 5, 1968:
The initative step towards the celebration of Sinterklaas-Zwarte Piet, throughout this week in Bint Maarten was made Tuesday, Dec. 3,1968 for the fifth consecutive year,. This startling event, this blockheaded perseverence in imposing this dispeptic, senseless, insinuation; negative paternalistic confrontation in 1968 in this island prompted us to emerge from the wings of this tragicomical stage and become vocal. While there are those who blind themselves to this obvious fact and reality in our overtly hospitable society we must needs clear the cobweb from their naive minds.
It is our conviction also that to ‘shut truth and bury it under the ground it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through, it will blow up everything in its way.’ (Emile Zola – J’accuse)
You confess to a supreme naïveté when you declare that this ‘feest’ is an innocent, childlike celebration without further implications or negative over- or undertones Your pretense of ignorance is overwhelming and suffocating when you stare in awesome disbelief at our carefully but categorical explanation to you what this ‘kinderfeest’ (children fete) is really all about.
Our challenge to you to consider and reason has been met merely with a certain measure of arrogance and gross diminutive accusations, such as: ‘My God, you are suffering from an inferiority complex!, Dear me, how narrow minded can one get!”
Despite our efforts to meet you at that delicate line of demarcation you have been relentless in ignoring this negative ‘cultural’ value in this community. Last year we stood silently, yet quite aware, in the wings on the stage you set for us. You made the introduction; you introduces the characters. This year, this week the stage is once more set and we notice ■ our turn now to stare in dumbfounded awe, but just for a moment ■■ that your dramatis personae have been extended. Your introduction of this ‘Kinderfeest’ – my God, whose children and a fete for whom – consists of three ‘zwarte pieten’ (Black Peters).
We are now on stage face en face with your ‘Sinterklaas – Zwarte Piet feest’ (A child’s fete!!) and we are confronted with the racial discriminative relationship between ‘the Saint’ and the ‘Black Peters’. Oh, we know, you accuse us of wanting to 10b the child of an amusement. You also maintain that the Sint Maarten child has already so little
Granted! We feel, though, that the Sint Maarten child has already got much, too much of your Sinterklaas-zwarte piet fete. We are truly a bit uneasy and suspicious of your ulterior motive. You really wish us to accept this fete as a value, a favour for the Sint Maarten child. What value what favour, my friend? We do not blame you for not being able to answer. You cannot answer. But you will understand at this stage thai this ‘Black Peter’ Saint Nicholas thing is damaging to the only thing that is of any value – the child’s, the Sint Maarten child’s Self. You present the child, my dear brother (we wish to assume you don’t really see the point) a subverted, false, monstrous image of that Self ■ we repeat: the child’s most specific value. You are subtle enough to dazzle, entice the child in the process through the lure of calling it a feast and the niceties which are indeed childlike – alas, for deceptive purposes, as a decoy. We confess, the method employed to get across your point is shrewd, yet not original and we understand your position. It reminds us also of the observation of a most eminent West Indian, Mr. Hugh Sherlock, president of the West Indian Methodist Conference who cited, only these two weeks ago professor Opperheimer as saying: If you want to get across an idea very well wrap it up in a person.
You will understand that such a ‘feest’ has no right in the class room; that such a fete should be barred from schoolchildren, gullible innocent human-beings; that ‘SinterKlaas-Zwarte Pét’ is a bold imposition in this community. It kan European thing which is obsolete in our emerging West Indian society which denies such an anarchonistic spectacle,. We shall be the first to maintain that we inherited some good values from Europe; ‘black peter ‘■ ‘Saint nicholas’ fete however is a corrupting lie, a psychedelic image which is interesting but just as damaging for your son and daughter as it is for ours. We finally emphasize – using very mellow words – that this fete is unwise and ^unacceptable to us, in our community; we therefore advise that this be the last year that our sons and daughters are exposed to this sort of thing.

Uploaded by: Reint Laan
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