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Soom Chandaswang stands at a booth about her homeland of Laos during the Culture Corner holiday event Friday at Minnesota West. Chandaswang and her family have merged some of their Lao culture with Christian traditions like Christmas. (Julie Buntjer/Daily Globe)

In holiday celebrations, Laotians adapt, adopt

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WORTHINGTON — When Soom Chandaswang and her family relocated to Worthington as refugees from Laos in 1989, she didn’t understand the English language, and American customs were simply confusing.


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Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at
(507) 376-7330