Each year, we Pieten accompany Sinterklaas. We travel all the way from Spain to the Netherlands on a Stoomboot (steam boat). Our journey is never catastrophe-free, but we eventually make it- ALWAYS! And trust me, it is always worthwhile. Why do I choose to be a Piet?
By Yoshita, student Grade 9
When I came to Netherlands, I learnt about Sinterklaas. I learnt that towards the end of autumn and close to winter, when the days get shorter and gloomier, when the world gets darker; Saint Nicholas comes from Spain to spread joy and excitement and to celebrate his birthday with ‘us’ children. He brings us goodies and presents! Since then, Sinterklaas has become a long awaited celebration for me!
Festive and beautiful
At ISUtrecht, Sinterklaas is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and cheer. The entire primary school gets very festive and beautiful, well lit, decorated and prepared for the celebration. Along with the traditions that we follow here at ISU such as the pepernoten baking and crafting, every year Sinterklaas, himself, visits the school with his fellow Pieten! This year, I chose to be a part of his Piet-troop!
Along with my Piet friends, I sneaked into the ISU kitchen at night, to bake pepernoten! Here you can watch what happened next! You can also follow our secret recipe to bake some pepernoten, maybe?
Shower of love
Being a Piet was a very fun experience, especially with younger children who were excited and amazed to see Sinterklaas. The gifts, cards, Pietenmutsen and Mijters that the children made for us Pieten and Sinterklaas in school were so nice and cute. Though some children had their cards and letters prepared, few actually made it on the spot! They were super eager and wanted all the attention of us Pieten, hence treating us very exclusively. I noticed, different children reacted differently towards the whole event, some were very happy, some were surprised and some were overwhelmed. Their reaction and shower of love made the whole experience so wonderful for us, making us feel so special. I totally enjoyed the stardom and fandom while it lasted!
It truly amazes me how the students who come from different cultures, with their own beliefs, rituals and traditions, learn to celebrate and enjoy the festivities as ‘one’ community . It is a big advantage of being part of this international school, which helps us know, understand and imbibe different cultures with open mindedness.
Coming back to why I chose to be a Piet?
I chose (and will choose again) to be a Piet to see the little children smile. To see a twinkle in their eye. To feel their heart skip a beat! To hear them whisper to one another, ‘I want to be a Piet when I grow up’. To give them hope. To help them strive to be a tad better (even if it is for a bigger Sint cadeau)! To BE the MAGIC they believe in. To help them believe in the magic… a little longer!
Signing off for 2021. See you all next year! Until then, be good!