Fulton Rotary Youth Exchange student shared Belgium Christmas traditions yesterday.
Romane Dessy, 18, a Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Belgium, shared some insights into what holidays are like in her home country of Belgium to Fulton Rotarians during a meeting Wednesday at Ohana's restaurant.
Dessy said her city is small as there are around 200 people. There's a big forest and hiking trails where she's from.
Belgium's national holiday is celebrated on July 21 and there are fireworks just like traditions in America has, Dessy said.
One Christmas tradition in Belgium is that many children have advent calendars with candy. Many cities in Belgium organize Christmas markets. People will also go to church at midnight for Christmas mass.
Dessy said the Christmas meal in Belgium includes lots of ham, sausages, cheese and vegetables.
"I'm very happy to celebrate Christmas here," Dessy said.
Dessy said one of the reasons she decided to be a part of the exchange program was because she wanted to learn English, as one day she would like to be a journalist.
Dessy said starting school is early in America. Exams are easy in America compared to ones in Belgium. Teachers are also friendly at Fulton and in Belgium they are more strict.
Exchanges for students ages 15-19 are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries. The Rotary Youth Exchange Program has been around for decades.
Students go on exchange for the whole school year. Dessy attends Fulton High School, as Fulton Public Schools hosted the exchange.