Fury as city employs black female Santa Claus draped in Palestinian flag

A European city has been reprimanded for hiring a female Santa Claus who has advocated for Belgium’s freedom from “colonial ideology.”

Queen Nikkolah was scheduled to come dressed in Palestinian flag colours and throw out gifts to youngsters at the town hall.

Artist Laura Nsengiyumva designed the festive mascot as an African equivalent to Sinterklaas, Belgium’s Father Christmas.

Ghent mayor Mathias de Clerq, on the other hand, caved in to critics who lambasted the female Santa Claus for being “woker than woke.”

The mayor said: “There is nothing wrong with Sinterklaas as we know him.

“We shouldn’t try to turn him into something else.”

Queen Nikkolah was created by the artist as a character who could provide revised versions of traditional Christmas tales to children.

“People see Queen Nikkolah as a threat,” said Nsengiyumva, who created the character in 2017.

“But if I didn’t like this tradition, I wouldn’t have picked it up. It’s also a desire to be part of it.”

“It came from a need from the community, not only people of colour, but I think also white allies who needed an alternative to deconstruct the colonial myth around Sinterklaas,” she said.

“I dream of a Belgium liberated from colonial ideology and a society without discrimination,” Queen Nikkolah said.

Members of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) declared the event “woker than woke”.

Nadia Sminate, a vice-chairman of the Flemish parliament, remarked, “Queen Nikkolah’s initiative is actually saying that entire generations of Flemish people are racists.”

Sinterklass’ option was to dress in the colours of the Palestinian flag – red, black, green, and white – to draw attention to the continuing turmoil in the Middle East.

Nsengiyumva stated of Zwarte Piet, “At the root of it is that it is an Afro-descendent character who is at the service of Sinterklaas.”

“I think it’s part of many childhood traumas for black Belgians, for Afro-Belgians, because you’re called out as Zwarte Piet, you’re compared to him.”

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