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Hess Street students love holidays

Dec 27, 2007

THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

The Spectator asked a group of young people new to Canada for their feelings about the holiday season. These reflections are from Grades 7 and 8 English as a Second Language (ESL) students at Hess Street School, facilitated with our thanks by ESL teachers Virginia Allega-Di Sanza and Ross Macintosh.

The Spectator has a special relationship with Hess Street School through Kids Unlimited, the newspaper's employee-driven anti-poverty initiative.

In Canada we go to the park when it snows. I like the snow. I saw snow for the first time when I came to Canada.

-- Ei Stha Yah

The holidays are my favourite time of the year because we have lots of presents and we have good food. We visit our families on Eid.

-- Nadifo Mohamud

I like holidays in Canada and in my country too. In Thailand we go caroling to our friends' houses at Christmastime. We eat a big roast pig. It's very good. There was no snow in Thailand. In Canada we get presents from our friends and we give presents too. I like snow because I learned to skate here. My friend brought me skating for the first time. It was fun.

-- Pler Ler Moo

I like special foods on the holidays. We don't have a lot of food from Afghanistan or Kazakhstan in Canada but there is food from India. We celebrate Eid and Christmas. My mom and dad buy presents for us on the holidays. On the night before Eid we get a lot of food ready because a lot of visitors come the next day. We stay up late and put henna on our hands. In the morning my dad goes to the mosque. We eat chocolates and then many people come over. We get money gifts. In Canada we don't have as many visitors as we did in Kazakhstan.

-- Humaira Mohammad Hashem

I like holidays. I like Christmas Day. I like snow because I go to my friend's house and we go to the park. We make a snowman.

-- Magie Paw

I love Eid celebrations. We go to Toronto and we go to pray at the mosque. We get new shoes and new clothes. We eat macaroni, chicken, rice and candy. In Canada when it snows we have to wear our boots to the mosque. My teachers are amazing. We learned that word in a story.

-- Abdi Jemal Osman

This year Eid is on Dec. 21. We have a lot of fun on Eid. We eat special food and we wear special new clothes. We call my aunt and my grandparents in Jordan. I go to the mosque and then we go visit our friends. I like December because Eid and Christmas are both in December. We always get presents on Eid and on Christmas.

-- Zina Mahmoud-Saeed-Mahmoud

My favourite thing about the holidays is that we have lots of fun playing games and we have lots of presents. We call my grandparents and aunts and uncles in Haiti. On Dec. 24 in Haiti, people go to a party and see the creche. We used to watch a movie and then we played.

-- Kendia Dor

In Vietnam we go to school even if Christmas Day is on a school day. We always get New Year's Day off. My favourite holiday is Teachers' Day on Nov. 20. In the morning we go to school and bring presents, flowers and cards to our teachers and we have a party in the morning! Some students come back to their old school to visit their teachers. In the afternoon we have regular classes. I don't know a lot about Canadian holidays yet because I have only been here for four months. I am happy that we have two weeks off school at Christmas because I can relax after my studies. In Ho Chi Minh City there is no snow. I don't like snow because it can make me fall down a lot.

-- Lina Lam

I like the holidays because I like to dance with my friends. I like presents. I give presents to my friends. I like snow because I can make a snowman.

 Web link to article: http://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters/article/184476--hess-street-students-love-holidays

 

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Hamilton has a higher rate of poverty than Ontario or Canada as a whole.

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