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Lao America’s 2017 Year in Review

What a year?! Perhaps propelled and fueled by covfefe, it really felt like the personal and the public occupied some blurred lines in 2017. This year showed us what happens when you throw enough water particles into a vat of hot oil the size of a planet. Is anyone left innocent and unshaken? To those that can make that claim…share that medication before it’s re-allocated to the rich!

Take a look below and let us know what we might have missed!




Courtesy of Tinney Contemporary and Sisavanh Phouthavong


  • Lao people all over the world celebrated the Lao New year.
  • On April 25th, Dr. Khamchanh Phanthavong (01/10/1956-4/25/2017), who served many roles in supporting Laotian refugees resettling in the US, including four years as the Executive Director of the Lao Advancement Organization of America in Minnesota, sadly passed on.
  • Bryan Thao Worra was the first Artist in Residence at the UC Merced Center for the Humanities.
  • Mai Der Vang’s book “Afterland” launched.
  • Refugee community mourns Lao Family co-founder Chaosarn Chao in Sacramento.
  • Kennedy “Eranetik” Phounsiri and Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri were recognized at the San Diego Lao New Year for their achievements in, not only local community building, but connecting San Diego to the international scene.




Flag: Kingdom of Laos (1952-1975)




  • Here at Little Laos on the Prairie, we had the amazing opportunity to interview Anan Bouapha on his pursuit of increasing awareness and recognition for LGBTQIA people in Laos. Anan is part of an active and increasingly visible LGBTQIA community that continues to engage Lao society and international partners.
  • U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter commemorated the completion of the restoration of Wat Visoun in Luang Prabang during a trip to the region. The historic temple was restored with U.S. government funding of $257,000 under the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
  • In an effort to boost tourism and attract foreign travelers to the country, Mr Soun Manivong, Head of Tourism Promotion Department, Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism stated that the Visit Laos Year 2018 campaign is scheduled to kickoff at the end of this month.
  • Center for Lao Studies held its annual fundraiser on October 14th, 2017.

Wat Visoun courtesy of Naphavong Hotel


Brand New: Ohio’s event flier. – Lux Ohana


Andre Soukhamthath on the right

Isabelle on the road to the 2018 US Figure Skating National Competition

End of year thoughts:  Let us know what you think about the list we compiled and share your own thoughts and experiences from 2017 in our comments below!

–Saysomphorn Sisavatdy, ssisavatdy@gmail.com


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