All posts filed under: Culture

Dear Guru: How do Lao last names work?

Hello there,  I am currently staying in Laos and got interested in Lao names. It would be interesting to me to get to know more about how and if Lao people change their names after getting married. Also if there are any dynasties of families with famous names, as some other South East Asian countries seem to have those.  Hope you can help me out here 🙂 Thanks and cheers! -Curious Reader in Laos — Dear Curious Reader in Laos, Up until the late French colonial era, Lao people did not typically have surnames. French enforcement was weak and then the country fell into turbulent times, so even today in some remote areas people still do not have surnames. Unfortunately, also due to these factors, there is a great deal of duplication of surnames even when two families are not related at all, unlike in neighboring Thailand where surnames are not allowed to be duplicated when there is no relation. When a rural family wants access to social services, such as enrolling a child in school, …

Little Laos’ Holiday Shopping Guide

While holiday shopping is underway for many in Lao America, many are still contemplating what to buy for their loved ones. Tis’ the perfect season to spread your hard earned money and buy from local Laos-based entrepreneurs and businesses. The gifts aren’t just unique and locally sourced, but majority of these businesses return their investment back to the community with a conscious. While the big box chains are always convenient to the typical shopper, they don’t always offer the best bang for your buck, financially and socially. There’s no argument that supporting small businesses is good for the local economy. There are almost 28 small businesses in the US, with over 50% of the working population working in the sector, generating over 45% of new net jobs since 1995. Read this point-by-point summary of why we need to support more small businesses. In other words, entrepreneurs are working it in the daily hustle creating and spreading more local wealth than the public cares to know about. There are plenty of US-based Laos products imported or made right …