A Homey Affair

Heading toward Winter


It’s that time of the year again. We’ve put the clock back one hour (more about that later), it’s cold outside, dark when you wake up, and dark when you come home. But then there is the so-called Dutch gezelligheid. The famous untranslatable word, that comes closest to ‘coziness’. And winter time calls for lots of gezelligheid.

December 5 is the evening when the Dutch curtains are closed and when families come together – for maybe the only time in the year. It’s the evening when Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet come to every house and deliver presents for the children.


The concept of Sinterklaas is fairly simple. The Sint, as we call him, is an historical figure who visits the children every year, bringing them presents. He carries out this tiresome task with the help so-called zwarte pieten or ‘black petes’. It’s a festive event, mainly for children – though the adults really love this festivity too.


This is where the consensus-driven culture of the Dutch starts to play a role…

Chris Smit
2018 Winter

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