All posts tagged: Saengmany Ratsabout

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 …

On Lao New Year and the Diaspora: Q&A with Saengmany Ratsabout

Saengmany Ratsabout is our guest blogger for this week’s series on Lao New Year, so LLOTP caught up with him to chat about his work.  Saengmany Ratsabout has been part of a new generation of emerging Lao community builders in Minnesota. He’s volunteered and supported numerous events and activities nationally and locally. With many years of experience working in the non-profit sector, he has coordinated programs such as Southeast Asians Living Chemically Free, and served as board member for the Center for Lao Studies and the Asian Pacific Endowment Fund. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from St. Cloud State University in 2004, where also co-founded Asian Students In Action. He received a Master of Arts in Southeast Asian Studies from the  University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 focusing on “Continuity and Changes of Buddhism from Old State to New State of Lao People’s Democratic Republic.” He is currently pursuing a Master of Liberal Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with an expected graduation date of 2014. Saengmany Ratsabout has worked as a …