All posts tagged: Lao New Year

10 things you need to know for Lao New Year

It’s Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year) this April 14-16th on the Buddhist calendar and the BeerLao is flowing, water attacks are happening, and your parents are nagging you to finally Spring clean the house. Whether you’re in the states or in Laos, here are ten basic ways to make sure your pi mai is fun-filled in ultimate Lao-style. 1. Waterproof your valuables (and yourself). Keyword: plastic bags. Double-zipped Zip lock bags are even better. Keep everything you value that will die from water in closed plastic bags. I hear (unused) condoms work amazing for touchpads, but that’s totally a personal preference. Water damage is more of a threat in Laos, since you can’t control the truckloads of people (typically kids) constantly ambushing you with pails of cold water. Just be ready for it. 2. Get your Lao New Year gear ready. Think light and easy to hang dry, ’cause you will be wet. Local Lao wear anything with dok champa (Laos’ national flower the plumeria) and anything tropical. If you’re in the US, it’s pretty much …

Lao New Year 2013 Series: Building Community and 21st Century Celebrations

In our last post of closing out the year of the dragon, guest blogger Saengmany Ratsabout, talks about the meaning of the new year and communities leading celebrations in the years ahead.   Let’s begin this section by revisiting our inquiry on the relevancy of the Lao New Year festival in the twenty-first century through a community development perspective.  In order to answer this, i would like us to also revisit the three values of Lao New Year, 1) Community, 2) merit-making, and 3) filial piety.  How are these values relevant to the Lao American community in the twenty-first century?  There are more questions here than answers and this section hopes to begin a conversation among elders, emerging community leaders and members of the Lao American community. Award-winning Lao American writer, Bryan Thao Worra writes extensively on the renaissance of Lao American arts and its role in community development.  What role do we see the Lao New Year festival play in providing space for artists of all types to display their talents?  Community festival whether …