Community, Lao American, Lao Diaspora
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#TBT: Reflections on community, voice, and Little Laos on the Prairie

Today’s Throwback Thursday post is for a couple of reasons. Reflections on 40 years of Lao Diaspora, #AngryAsianGate, and the importance of diverse voices in the blogosphere.

For our 2nd birthday back in 2013, Bryan Thao Worra wrote about LLOTP and why it exists on his personal blog, Lao’d and Clear on Twin Cities Daily Planet, a citizen journalist-based online publication– and a big champion of our work here at LLOTP. Some notable points…

Our stories really do matter.

“That the contributors who’ve written for Little Laos on the Prairie over the years took a chance on all of these different issues. To express one’s self? To share an opinion in the world freely, to risk changing that world with a handful of words? Those are some of the greatest gifts of democracy, and one I believe we’re obliged to use, or else we will lose it. Lao who know their history know this better than almost anyone else.”

Diversity in the blogosphere is necessary.

“There’s really no instruction manual for how a society that once lived as a monarchy transitions into a participatory democracy. There will be days we do well. And there will be days we hear people telling us we’re destroying our tradition and heritage. There will be days people say we need to speak up more and ask for more change, more social justice. There will be days people just want to know: Is it possible for a Lao Minnesotan to succeed at whatever they dream of doing?”

The path for Lao voices is already here. 

“I think a good blog takes about three or four years to really hit its stride, to understand its voice and to build its audience. There will be experiments that get left by the wayside, and there will be pieces that become classics we turn to again and again. For those who’ve been a constructive part of this process, as we rebuild in the aftermath of our wars, I thank you. For those of you who haven’t? Well, I thank you, too. Because it’s taught our writers to be tough, and to not give up on believing we have a place here, and that a Lao voice is something to share.”

As our fourth year approaches this year, how do you think we’ve done so far? If you’re a Lao writer, what are your thoughts? Read Bryan’s full piece here.


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