For everyone in the western world, Christmas is fast approaching. Well, almost everyone. Because for the Dutch, especially the kids, there is something much more important coming up first: Sinterklaas!
Two weeks ago today, Sint arrived in Meppel in the Netherlands, to kick off the yearly three weeks of pre-sinterklaasfeest party. This is the time in the Netherlands when the little ones put their shoes in front of the door, in hopes of getting some pepernoten, chocolate letters are on sale everywhere and you cannot go into town without hearing Sinterklaas Kapunzje at least five times.
If you don’t believe me, go visit the Netherlands during this time! There is even a daily TV newsprogram on public television (the Sinterklaasjournaal) bringing news on the preparation for pakjesavond.
I thought we had left all this behind us when we moved here. But I was mistaken.
Through the teacher at the Dutch school that the kids go to, Willemijn got her hands on some tickets for a Sinterklaasfeest at the local Dutch club. And so, today, we made our way to Carnegie to see whether Sint had made it all the way down to Australia on time.
But before proceedings got under way, it was time for some proper Dutch food: frikandel speciaal (a fried stick made of minced meat) and patat (fries).
And then the big moment came: Sinterklaas made his appearance, together with his trusted Zwarte Pieten.
The proceedings were much like back in the Netherlands. The storyline was around the fact that the famous grote boek (the large book) had been transferred to an iPad and in order to get the password, the Zwarte Pieten, helped by the children, had to do a number of tasks. Fun, is a bit long.
The whole thing lasted for about an hour and a half before we could collect the presents and head home. It was really a little taste of home for Willemijn and the kids.