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Foreign students share holiday traditions

With the holidays fast approaching, the six foreign exchange students at Mount Si High School find themselves with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads as they anticipate their first American Christmas.

This December brings many firsts for the lively group of teenagers who are staying with host families in the Valley through the end of the school year.

Gabriela Brown, a junior from Paraguay, wants to go wherever it's snowing. "I'm going up to the Pass," she said, adding that the recent snowfall in November was the first time in her life she had ever seen snow.

Hae In Do, a soft-spoken junior from Korea, will be celebrating her first Christmas. Her family is Buddhist, as is most of Korea, and they do not celebrate Christmas. Hae In brought a traditional Korean dress that was made by a family friend to wear for the holidays. The long white and red silk dress consists of multiple parts and is very elaborate, she said.

Pernille Carstens, a talkative junior from Denmark, experienced cutting down a Christmas tree for the first time in her life. "I'm used to getting our tree from a lot," she said. "It was fun to decorate."

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