All posts filed under: History

Ambassador to Laos, The Honorable Rena Bitter visits the PacNW and Discusses Building Bridges

Former President, Barack Obama’s presidency was full of historical firsts. Everyone knows about the larger scale accomplishments, but only a small country like Laos, and its people around the world, would even care enough to know about the smaller stuff. I’m talking, of course, about the historical visits to Laos from Secretary Hillary Clinton to said President himself, a couple of years ago. While the homeland can only view it positively – the Lao diaspora ran the gamut of emotions. Not unexpected, considering it’s been a little over 40 years since the diaspora began. While some of us have made it back home for a visit, the disappearance of Sombath Somphone raises the dormant alarms we never quite forgot. It’s as if we were lulled into a semi-safe space by a lethargic dance-off only to have the Bogeyman reappear after we washed our makeup off. Regardless, with 40 years of time passing, the doors to some kind of positive relationship appear to at least be open. I couldn’t say if that is an insanely long …

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Lao Films and Films about Laos

This week kicks off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, so you can expect lots of Celebrasian puns in various news articles. Not to be confused with Celebraisin, which would be one of those dancing claymation raisins from the 80s. This year marks the 40th anniversary since the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was recognized by Congress and the White House in 1978. For those of you who were curious, the month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. And of course, everyone knows the significance of May to Lao because of the incredible lessons we all get about our journey to America in history class, right? Recently, community members have been asking Little Laos on the Prairie for movie recommendations involving Laos, especially in the aftermath of that Angelina Jolie movie about our …