Zwarte Piet

Christmas has its deepest roots in Kerstmis, the ages-old Dutch holiday tradition. It has a complicated history, based on the story of St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra, blended with a mix of paganism, Western Christianity and even Spanish influence. Nowadays, on the first Saturday after the 11th of November, Sint Nicholas and his many black servants arrive by boat, from Spain, or at least that is the story told. Then they parade through every Dutch town to give out candy and ask if the children have been good. In 2017, Romke photographed this controversial parade in The Hague.