A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
That’s right Yuri, Sinterklaas has arrived in the Netherlands and I was there to meet him at Scheveningen Harbour last Saturday. Standing in the freezing cold for about fourty minutes before the parade began, I was surprised by my own growing excitement about seeing the great man himself, considering I didn’t even know who he was until last year. But I have to admit that, like all the little children around me, I had a grin on my face and was fidgeting with excited anticipation to see that big bishop’s hat and long white beard.
But before we got a peek at the man himself, we were treated to a parade of what seemed like thousands of Zwarte Piets, and they were absolutely hysterical. Truck loads load of them went by, playing music, singing and fooling around. Zwarte Piets on roller blades whizzed by, even some on scooters and, most amusingly, Segways. Some of them, including my friend, ‘Creepy Piet,’ mingled among the crowds, handing out pepernoten and gingerbread. My creepy friend spent a while standing next to me looking for an available pocket or hood in which to dispense his sugary sweets and, having weighed up the pros and cons, eventually settled for my back jeans pockets as his place of choice. Putting them in my hand simply wasn’t an option apparently.
And then came Sinterklaas, waving benevolently from his tall white horse. He was of a very grave and sombre demeanour, rather like a professor in a lecture, unaware that it is the last day of term.
Myself and my friends enjoyed the parade immensely, and at the same time provided some amusement ourselves, as parents giggled at the three twenty something’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of Sinterklaas.