All posts tagged: Diaspora

Meet Sabrina + Eric: The couple behind Minnesota’s Soul Lao food truck

In Lao, the literal translation of setting your heart on something is to thung jai het. Embodying this saying in their everyday mantra in food, family and life is Soul Lao‘s wife and husband duo (now trio) Sabrina Boualaphanh and Eric Phothisanh, along with their biggest fan—their toddler, Willow. In the beginning of their cooking journey, the couple moved from Minnesota to the west coast, searching for purpose and identity. They traveled to Laos and Thailand in 2015 to learn how to cook Thai food, going to and from different cooking schools in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The two made everything from scratch using fresh ingredients bought at the market that day. Photisanh and Boualaphanh said that trip was eye-opening, both personally and for their careers. The couple decided to return to Minnesota in 2017 to share their food and culture with the community. Soul Lao started with local pop-ups to introduce Lao comfort food to Minnesotans. A year later, their following on social media turned into a full-blown food truck that can now be seen around the …

SEAD to release book of Southeast Asian-authored narratives

The Southeast Asian Diaspora (SEAD) Project is celebrating Minnesota’s first-ever Southeast Asian-authored anthology Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center in St. Paul.  “Planting SEADs: Southeast Asian Diaspora Stories” will feature stories, poetry and artwork from Hmong, Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese Minnesotans, whose narratives reflect the entirety of the refugee experience. Trauma is often intertwined with our shared backgrounds as Southeast Asians, and the experiences that come along with that can be scattered, disjointed or simply not talked about. Through this collection of 20 stories, art and poetry, we can begin to connect the histories that link our diaspora cultures together. “More than 100,000 Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Viet diaspora call Minnesota home,” Chanida Phaendara Potter, executive director of SEAD, said. “Storytelling is necessary to make sense of who we are as a people and the living and breathing memories we share as Southeast Asians. We hope fellow Minnesotans find hope, understanding and see their neighbors in these beautiful stories.” The book launch and signing will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday …