Sinterklaas – the Community Calls

Sinterklaas the Community Callsambience: bell ringingFleming: We start the parade at the top of the hill, where no one can see us. And we come over the hill. But they hear the bell all the way through town before we ever are seen. On the first Saturday in December, the town of Rhinebeck in New York’s Hudson Valley celebrates its version of Sinterklaas. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Sinterklaas is, as we celebrate it now in Rhinebeck, a contemporary version of an ancient tale. Jeanne Fleming is the creator and producer of Sinterklaas, Rhinebeck’s reinterpretation of an old Dutch tradition, complete with music, storytelling, dance and a parade with a cast of thousands, led by Sinterklaas himself, a figure who looks a lot like Santa Clausambience; marching bandFleming: It’s not really a typical celebration that we kind of know in America. It’s a play in which everyone is an actor. It’s really about the children and bringing the entire community together. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas will come to one house in the neighborhood, but everybody will come together and gather there, but it is in the home.In Rhinebeck, the entire community becomes a staging area for the Sinterklaas celebration.Fleming: Well everything about Rhinebeck was perfect for this festival. I mean the Dutch history, there are many venues: churches, restaurants, public spaces that can be used for presenting things. It had a perfect parade route to bring Sinterklaas into and it had a diversity of people in it. It had artists, it had all the local people; it had seven different churches. It was like a perfect petri dish for an idea like this.We’ll hear more about Rhinebeck’s Sinterklaas in future programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Sinterklaas - the Community Calls

Reinventing a Dutch ritual in upstate New York.
Air Date:11/25/2019
Scientist:
Transcript:

Sinterklaas the Community Callsambience: bell ringingFleming: We start the parade at the top of the hill, where no one can see us. And we come over the hill. But they hear the bell all the way through town before we ever are seen. On the first Saturday in December, the town of Rhinebeck in New York's Hudson Valley celebrates its version of Sinterklaas. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Sinterklaas is, as we celebrate it now in Rhinebeck, a contemporary version of an ancient tale. Jeanne Fleming is the creator and producer of Sinterklaas, Rhinebeck's reinterpretation of an old Dutch tradition, complete with music, storytelling, dance and a parade with a cast of thousands, led by Sinterklaas himself, a figure who looks a lot like Santa Clausambience; marching bandFleming: It's not really a typical celebration that we kind of know in America. It's a play in which everyone is an actor. It's really about the children and bringing the entire community together. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas will come to one house in the neighborhood, but everybody will come together and gather there, but it is in the home.In Rhinebeck, the entire community becomes a staging area for the Sinterklaas celebration.Fleming: Well everything about Rhinebeck was perfect for this festival. I mean the Dutch history, there are many venues: churches, restaurants, public spaces that can be used for presenting things. It had a perfect parade route to bring Sinterklaas into and it had a diversity of people in it. It had artists, it had all the local people; it had seven different churches. It was like a perfect petri dish for an idea like this.We'll hear more about Rhinebeck's Sinterklaas in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.