All posts tagged: Nang Sangkhan

Lao New Year 2013 Series: Myth of the Nang Sangkhan

Our guest blogger, Saengmany Ratsabout begins this week’s series on the Lao New Year with Part 1 – Myth of the Nang Sangkhan.  As we approach Lao New Year, I wanted to take this opportunity to not only highlight traditional practices associated with the celebration, but also begin a conversation on the relevancy of centuries-old traditions in twenty-first century Lao American communities. As we begin this conversation, there are three things I will focus on: 1) an overview of the three-day celebration including myths associated with the Nang Sangkhan, 2) Lao New Year as practiced by Lao Americans through archival research and personal anecdotes, and lastly, 3) relevancy of the myths and practices in the twenty-first century through a community development perspective. Though Lao New Year is often associated with Buddhist practices, our main focus of discussion will be of the myths and practices that pre-date Buddhist Lao.  Prior to the introduction of Theravada Buddhism, the Lao practiced spiritual and ancestral cult worship along with Brahmanism.[1]  These practices continue today in many forms such as …