All posts tagged: History

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 …

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 …