All posts tagged: LAO America

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‚Äôs 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 …

The Potomac is not the Mekong

The Potomac is not the Mekong. If I close my eyes, I don’t see eagles on the hunt Soaring over a river The color of muted grey clouds. I see fishermen below, Their bamboo rafts floating On a sunset’s golden reflection, The river shining and flowing Between me and Nong Khai. I smell not Wet pavement And overpriced steak But the aromatic pungent smell Of padaek glazed grilled duck Sold for 15,000 kip. If I cover my ears I don’t hear the deafening rush Of trafficked destined cars On Woodrow Wilson Bridge But the harmonic chanting Of Wat Sop’s saffron monks. I hear the sputtering motorbikes Of young lovers Riding through empty roads, Leaving echoes of laughter And clouds of dust In their wake At dusk. The Potomac is not the Mekong Just another chapter, Some river, In a once empty book. ~~ In A.Ou’s own voice: