All posts filed under: Vietnam War

What is California Senate Bill 895?

What is California Senate Bill 895 (CA SB-895)? California Senate Bill 895 (CA SB-895) is a legislative bill originally introduced by Senator Janet Nguyen (34th Senate District) on January 12, 2018 that would require the state’s Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to develop a model curriculum relative to the Vietnamese American refugee experience. On May 25, 2018, the bill was amended to include the Cambodian genocide. On August 21, 2018, the bill was amended again to include Hmong history and cultural studies. Wait, what happened to Lao/Laotian experiences? The bill does not include any specific language advocating for the development of a curriculum relevant to Lao/Laotian experiences, including those of Lao, Iu-Mien, Khmu, Tai Dam, Tai Lue, and other ethnic minorities from Laos (besides the Hmong). If the bill was introduced back in January, how did we just hear about this now? On Thursday, August 23, 2018, the LA Times released an article about the bill. The article was shared on social media and elicited a wave of anger and discontent in the Lao/Laotian community for …

An Interview with A Million Elephants

This is Part One of a Two-Part Series on Lao Home and Fashion Pioneers, A Million Elephants. “There are a lot of people who don’t even know that Laos exists.” “As a person of mixed ethnicity, I’m always asked, ‘what are you?’. Every time I said my dad is Lao, nobody knew what it was. So I used to say that I’m Thai. But as I got older, I decided I’m not going to say that. I’m going to say ‘Lao’ so that people know what it is.” Brittany Petrie grew up in a small city in Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by a large Lao community, she was never short on cultural experiences or friends who shared her love of sticky rice and laap. But despite that, she longed for a deeper connection with her roots, to celebrate her heritage and pass it on to the next generation. And that’s how  A Million Elephants got its start. A Million Elephants, a Canadian company, sells handcrafted products, all of which are created in Laos. Working with talented …