All posts tagged: Writers

To All My Faux Aunties and Uncles…

Dear Aunties and Uncles: I now know the purpose you served… For years, growing up, it was never properly explained to me. Perhaps my parents lacked the words I would understand. Perhaps it was more than that. Because of that communication gap, I genuinely believed that everyone my mom and dad introduced me to, was my blood relative. That meant that when I went to my American grade school and people asked me about my family, I inadvertently lied. “I’m the youngest of 8. I know, big family. Both of my parents have like 13 brothers and sisters each. I haven’t even met all of them! Well, some died in the war, of course. I never knew my grandparents.” I guess I should be happy I grew up in a state surrounded by Mormons and Catholics. Big families weren’t anything new to them. But, for the skeptical others that dared to question my authenticity? I was sure self-righteous in my defense of my village-like family! At a certain point, I reached an age where I started questioning …

The Lao Diaspora Through the Eyes of an Expat

I remember it being a day brimming with possibilities. True to mark, it should so happen through the greatest of chances, that I met Ms. Julia Sophia Zimic* later that day. Julia is a Brazilian-born Austrian expat living in Luang Prabang, operating a guest house and jam-making business. She also has a strong interest in the stories of the Lao Diaspora Community, having worked several years in Germany with refugees, helping them acclimate to their new lives. It’s the middle of the rainy season and the sky is in a constant state of gloom. My uncle has to go up to Luang Prabang for a business trip and lets me tag along. It is dusk by the time we arrive in Luang Prabang. After checking in to our guesthouse, we freshen up and part ways for the night; my uncle going to meet with some friends, and me once again, with no clear destination in mind. Alone, I wander about the small historic town, passing by old haunts. Dusk might be this city’s best time …