All posts tagged: Lao Minnesota

10 (Lao) ways to survive Winter Storm Astro

By the time you’re reading this, you probably made it to work (finally!) and are now stuck at your cube or you’re hibernating near a source of high heat bracing for Winter Storm Astro. From Monday through Tuesday, Mother Nature is expected to dump up to 10 inches of snow in the northern states of Montana and Dakotas through our beloved Minnesota. Imagine being a new Lao Minnesotan from a blistering 100-degree tropics that you’re used to. How do you survive as a Lao during a snowpocalyse? We’ll tell you some simple ways. 1. Candles, candles and more candles. Those who have refugee blood keep it around– we got at least a box of these in every household. Just in case, of course. 2. The shovel is old school, but at least have a few around. Or ask your nice neighbor who has a snowblower to make you a path to your car. You can pay them with a heaping bowl of khao piak. It’s totally fair. 3. Get your snow gear ready. Lao don’t do well in deep feet of snow. Get …

The Revival of Minnesota's Boun Phra Vet Celebration

This weekend, the air was warm and festive as Lao community members gathered at Wat Lao Forest Lake for Boun Phra Vet. The temple revived its annual traditional celebration of  the life of Phra Khodom/Vetsandone devoted to Buddha. The festival was filled with the usual Lao food staples from grilled quail to sweet khao lam (sweet sticky rice) and of course, the piercing loud mor lam (Lao folk music) rolled on in its parade with kong ee thum (drumming) as community members finally were able to enjoy what  they’ve been looking forward to for so long. It’s been years since what many in the Lao Minnesotan community had deemed as the ‘Wat Wars’ crisis of the Lao Buddhist temples. Some foreclosed due to money corruption, some shut down due to personal conflicts, and some just couldn’t trust the temples for awhile. The community found itself at divisive crossroads, where many Lao families found themselves not having a place of worship to go to and going out of Minnesota to participate in other Lao communities’ events. Many issues had …