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You So Lao If…

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I’m very grateful to have one extra hour even if it felt stolen from me through the hustle and bustle of a spent weekend. As the post from yesterday chimed, “Time, time, time,” I found it interesting that I went back in time as I was rummaging through my room. In between stacks of papers were old Lao Student Association    documents. With every crinkle in the pages I was reminded of a time when I was enthralled with our Lao community, of planning the Lao New Year celebration, meeting for student events, etc. Folded in half was a particular document that called my attention. The first two pages were missing, but it was a document in a series called “You know you’re [insert ethnic group] if…” and this one was about the Lao Americans.

One way to have fun and laugh out loud is to look at life through a light-hearted lens. Although some of these listed examples are outright stereotypes, they are based on some truth.  I can easily identify with about all of these moments highlighted in this list of 160 things. I know I’m Lao. How Lao are you?

Here are some examples of the one-liners: “You know you’re Lao if…”

#58. “Your mother has a short-haired, curly perm.”

#86. “Your nickname means fat, skinny, dark-skinned, short, little, etc, or is the name of some animal: bird, duck, chicken, monkey, etc.”

#94. “Your family has a chopping board made from a tree trunk.”

#101. “You can substitute cabbage or any other thing for papaya just so you can satisfy your cravings for tum-mak-huung*.”  *Papaya salad.

#107. “Your parents prefer to slaughter their own beef, chicken, or pork.”

#128. “You’ve heard of people who poisoned themselves or somebody else by eating or cooking wild mushrooms.”

#145. “Instead of jumping rope, you jumped over a chain of rubberbands as a kid.”

#147. “Your last name has between 10-15 letters, usually ending in –vanh, -chanh, -vong, -dara, -ath.” (I added the last two!)



  1. #58. My mom would tell me when I get to her age I can get the same perm too!

    #86. Yep, my nickname is Thuy (FAT!)

    #94. Parents were too cheap to buy a chopping board from the store.

    #101. I loved cucumber papaya salad the best!!!

    #107. OMG they would lay out garage bags on the floor and have all the moms over to slaughter meat! It was like a meat party!

    #128. Yes, I heard all the mushroom stories from my mom!

    #145. I remember the girls would use me to hold the rubber band because I was taller so it was more of a challenge for them to see how high they can go!

    #147. My last name ends with DARA!!


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