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December 04, 2008 4:07 am

Country Christmas has an ethnic flair this year

Written by Tribune Staff

Every December, locals can count on a few things — holiday music playing on Bent Street, dropping Wyoming temperatures, eggnog available at local grocery stores and Country Christmas.

The Country Christmas Celebration, in its 22nd year, has become a holiday tradition for Powell.

This year, in addition to the standby festivities, local residents will have an opportunity to hear about holiday traditions in other cultures. For the first time, Country Christmas will include other countries in the weekend celebration.

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Plaza Diane during Holidays Around the World, Northwest College international students will share what Christmas or other seasonal celebrations look like in their home countries.

Powell is blessed to house dozens of international students hailing from all over the globe. This student population is an asset to the community.

Although international students are here to learn about American culture, they often serve as teachers.

Throughout the year, they give residents of rural Powell a firsthand account of their country's flavors, songs, traditions, beliefs and languages.

During Saturday's program, the community has an opportunity to learn about ethnic celebrations in South Korea, Brazil, Vietnam, Chile, Austria, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.

In addition to marking Country Christmas in the traditional way this weekend — with a visit from Santa Claus, holiday music, Christmas trees, food, crafts, a lighted parade, entertainment, the Tour of Homes — Powell folks are fortunate to celebrate diversity as well.