All posts filed under: Vietnam War

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 …

Deportation and Lao America: It’s Time to Wake Up

For a number of years now, our Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as some of our own people, including ethnic groups residing in Laos, have been battling deportation. We have, as a group, largely ignored this. We seem to think that if we keep our heads down, it won’t and can’t happen to us. But it already has and, it will hit us hard very soon. None of these are good enough excuses for how uninvolved we’ve been. If your personal reasons for staying out of the fray are any of the below, please read further to find out why it’s no longer good enough to stay silent. 1) I consider myself American/Lao American and that’s not my problem. Most of the deported also viewed themselves as such. Still, because of at least one mistake, they, and their entire family will pay for this pretty heavily. Have you forgotten why most of us came here and how we arrived? Regardless, one mistake shouldn’t dictate where we feel at home. The tenure of a person’s time …