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Foreign students talk about their own Independence Day

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Family barbecues with hotdogs and hamburgers; red, white and blue colors; parades and fireworks are just a few things that Independence Day brings to mind for many Americans.

With the approach of the Fourth of July, some international students are reminded of their own countries’ national holidays.

Daline Figaro, a freshman studying communication, said she was born in Haiti and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2006, when she was nine years old.

Figaro said people in Haiti celebrate independence day on Jan. 1, alongside the traditional New Year’s Day parties and celebrations.

On January 1, 1804, Haiti became a republic and was the first nation in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery, and in doing so, created a holiday celebrated with a focus on traditional foods, according to the website of the U.S. Embassy for Haiti.

Figaro said Haitians celebrate their flag day on May 18, and since there are many Haitians living in Florida, it is a huge celebration there.

“They have festivals, and people represent Haiti with flags everywhere,” Figaro said.

She said one of the main holiday foods for independence day in Haiti is fried pork.

Figaro said that another thing the Haitian independence day shares with the American Independence Day is the fireworks.

Bianka Castro, a freshman studying exercise physiology, was born in Brazil and then moved to Chile at a young age.

She said the upcoming American Independence Day makes her miss Chile’s independence Day.

Castro said Chile’s independence day is in September, but she was not able to be there last year.

Independence day in Chile is a month-long festival that centers on a day called Dieciocho, which falls on September 18, according to

The celebration highlights cultural music, food such as empandas and a rodeo event where cowboys still wear traditional garb, according to

Castro said seeing all the preparations for the Fourth of July made her sad that she missed her country’s holiday.

Shes said that when she looked on Facebook, she saw everyone from back home celebrating with family and eating different foods.

Castro said Chile does not celebrate its independence day with fireworks, but there are always fireworks at the end of the year.

She said she is looking forward to seeing the fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Callie Su, president of the BYU-Idaho Chinese Cultural Association and a sophomore studying child development, said the National Day of Taiwan is held on October 10.

“The National Day of Fireworks Display takes place in the evening,” Su said. “This is the most anticipated event by people.”

The holiday is celebrated by fireworks displays, governmental parades and celebrations of authentic cultural music, Su said.

“I think it is going to be so much fun here in July,” Castro said. “I’ve never experienced that before, and I am excited.”

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