In every place in the world, people cherish their customs & habits. Nevertheless, certain traditions may lead to discussions in terms of racism or any other form of discrimination. In the Netherlands, this time of the year is about the right or wrong of celebrating St. Nicholas with Black Peter as servant. Is this racism or not? These discussions become main topics in talk shows and the media.
Personally, it's not an issue to me. And I am aware that by making this statement, I might be stepping on some sensitive toes. However, growing up in Curaçao, the arrival of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet was awaited with enthusiasm and celebrated. On the cover of December 1998 of COLORS, my son is sitting on Santa Claus' lap, and by the smile on his face, you can tell he's enjoying.
Accepting each other is learned by Educating for understanding and peace. Some follow courses to become a better integrated citizen in their country of residence, without losing their own identity. Perhaps it's a matter of fine tuning one's brain to live happy & healthy and grow smart at the same time.
A visit to the flea markets or travel to places where people of different nationalities have always lived together, will also expand one's horizons of acceptance and understanding; Nicosia is one of those places. Enjoy a rich and complex blend of many cultures in Cuisine, and let's celebrate our similarities and differences, just like the COLORS team.
“Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” - César Chávez (American Activist and Labor Organizer. Founder of the National Farm Workers Association; 1927-1993).