All posts filed under: Laos

Culture vs Converse: Shoo to All Shoes or are your Jimmy Choo’s Exempt?

Entering a house with bare feet is second nature to us Lao. We wouldn’t dare walk through someone’s abode with our street shoes on. But there are many Americans who disagree. In fact, it can be a controversial topic! Removing your shoes might ruin a carefully curated outfit, make you cold, or worse, expose your mismatched socks and smelly feet. And who can forget that Sex and the City episode where Carrie took off her Manolos and someone else went home with them?! Have you ever wondered why we take off our shoes? Or do you need some fuel for the “shoes off” side of the debate? Follow along. Removing shoes is a common practice in many parts of the world. You’ll find footwear by the front entry in Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea. And this isn’t just common in the East. Some people in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, and Turkey cringe at just the thought of hanging out inside with your shoes on. Here in Canada, most of us leave our shoes at the door, …

Spoken Words: Hopes and History Passed Forward

One of my most favorite childhood memories were the nights I got to sleep with my “Gux Taaix” (great grandmother). I would curl up in her full-sized bed, tuck my little body in right next to her, pull the covers up above my ears, and ask if she was ready to “gorngv gouv” or story tell. She almost always said yes. What I remember most in those moments, was how these stories; more like fairy tales, made me feel. My highly active child imagination craved the comfort and familiarity of her voice but even further, I admired her ability to captivate me with nothing but her spoken words. As I grew older, I began to realize that this remarkable talent she had was not just specific to her, but something that was a result of years of tradition, something that is also inherent within me. Iu Mien and Khmu people have always carried our stories with us. In some ways, it’s hard not to feel that these stories are only small pieces informing a much …