Sunday, December 28, 2014

First snow

Pic of the week

The Travelled Monkey - First snow
Metaphor: with the first snowfall arriving in Belgium on Saturday, mother and child (or children, in my case) are protected by a small roof while father ventured out for food. Child raises arm triumphantly; yet both can be seen cracking.
Photo by John Weaver

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Allo Allo!

Pic of the week

Leaving Het Anker brewery, Mechelen  Photo by John Weaver

Have a happy Christmas everybody!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Zwarte Piet: friend or foe?

Quirky Belgium

The Travelled Monkey - Zwarte Piet
Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is Saint Nicolas's helper. Traditionally, boys and girls in Belgium and Holland put their shoe by the chimney on the eve of December 6. If you've been good, Saint Nicolas will bring you a present, which Zwarte Piet delivers by going down the chimney and putting it in your shoe.  Photos by John Weaver

A staple character in a harmless holiday tradition or an anachronistic hangover from Belgium's and Holland’s colonial pasts? Innocent symbol fun or thinly disguised racism? 

Zwarte Piet: friend or foe?