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Black Saint Nicholas

5 December 1957
Tropenmuseum Photo Collection (1939, wikipedia)

As of old, the Dutch community in Indonesia celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas, but unfortunately not without worries. This year the children’s party made it to the annals as “Black Saint Nicholas”, as on 5 December 1957 Indonesia declared all 50.000 local Dutch residents to persona non grata.
This was induced by the conflict over Papua New Guinea, the last part of Dutch territory in the East.

“It was probably the last entrance of Saint Nicholas in Djakarta ever. Already critics from extreme-nationalist circles condemned the fact that the Saint is white and his servants are black” wrote the Leeuwarder Courant (on December 6th, 1957)