All posts tagged: Lao Minnesota

2016 New Year happenings in Minnesota

Updated: April 15, 2016 It’s about that time when Southeast Asian New Years are in full force and again, communications about the happenings are bare and invisible.  For those who are fans of community event flyers, not all flyers are comprehensive nor are they created equal, but as our cultural sayings go– we do with what we have. So, here’s a roundup of New Year events in Minnesota that celebrate our respective Lao, Thai, and Khmer cultures. Since the past few years have been unpredictably cold weather, you’ll find that many of the temples will rent out local venues to make their blessings to the masses more accessible. There’s also been a surge of new and sustaining temples; which has been exciting to see. Got more to add to the list for Minnesota (or others in your Southeast Asian communities)? Are the details incorrect? Let us know to help make the list better. Send us the official details on who, what, when, where to: editor@littlelaos.org. Saturday, April 9, 2016 – 10:00AM-5:00PM – Wat Forest Lake at Lao Family …

The original visionaries of Lao Minnesota: Phouninh and Khoutong Vixayvong

For the Lao in Minnesota, heritage preservation was robust and vital in building community roots in the late 80s through early 90s. Lao PTA and Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota had programs focused on Lao language, culture and arts; and even a Lao Summer School for youth. One of the many well-known leaders during the resettlement period was Phouninh Vixayvong, a retired educator with a fierce teaching style. She’s also a long-time social services veteran at Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, where she still assists elders navigating the public system one minute and debating with Lao men in the lobby about the latest community issue the next minute. She is one of many maes to the Lao community, teaching the first wave of Lao refugee immigrants for 15 years and founding the first ever Lao Women’s Association in the state, addressing teen pregnancy and breast cancer awareness. As a former student of the youth summer camp and a close colleague, I consider Mae Phouninh to be a humble feminist trailblazer in her own right. I sat down with the Vixayvongs in their …