Friday, December 05, 2008

Sinterklaas - wie kent hem niet?

One of the more charming traditions of the Netherlands is the celebration of Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas, on December 5th - today. The evening of December 5th is called sinterklaasavond or "pakjesavond" ("presents' evening"). Traditionally, presents are ingeniously wrapped, and are therefore called surprises. Also, presents are usually accompanied by a poem from Saint Nicholas and songs are sung by the children for the good Sinterklaas. Until about a decade ago, this was the main event for exchanging gifts in the Netherlands, but since then also here Christmas has become more popular for this. To mark the occasion, a video of probably the only pop/rock song featuring Sinterklaas. In the early eighties, there was a sudden increase in popularity of new wave style songs sung in Dutch - bands like Doe Maar, Toontje Lager and the Frank Boeyen Groep had many hits in Holland. One of the most popular was Het Goede Doel, and the two singers from this band recorded a modern Sinterklaas song in 1982 as Henk & Henk. Enjoy.
Art Rock score: 7/10 (fun to hear it on the radio)