Noi Sengsourigna is a Lao musician, artist and educator. She grew up in a family dedicated to the preservation and the teaching of Lao culture and is actively continuing the tradition while pursuing many other pursuits in Vientiane. An architecture graduate from RMIT, Australia, her passion is Lao culture, music and dance and sharing them with children. In pursuit of that passion she became a songwriter, producer and performer in live concerts, on television and in recordings. She has been a news reader on Lao National Television, and volunteers with many community projects to help the Lao people.
Many of our readers had a chance to meet her in the United States during her nationwide tour in 2009. She recently celebrated her birthday, and Little Laos on the Prairie caught up with her recently to discuss her latest projects.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? And where are you headed these days?
I’m a singer and song writer. I was born in Vientiane, Laos. Currently I am taking a Diploma Course in Sathya Sai Educaion in Human Values in Lobury Province, Thailand. The aim of this course is to learn more about how transformative education connects to human values.
So many people may wonder “where is Noi at the moment? What’s she doing?” I guess the answer is I wants to live my life very simply. As all of my work of music and art goes to helping children. After graduating in 2001 from Australia in the field of of Architecture, I have been working towards my dream, a dream of a school.
After I finish my studies in Thailand, I have a plan go back to help the country of Laos, especially the children, focusing on the fields of education, music and culture. I’d like to be part of those contributing as teachers to help children. In the long run I soon will establish a new school in line with the 5 human values.
What’s your favorite Lao dish?
My favorite style of Lao cooking is making Lao salad. I eat a lot of vegetables. So for those who never try any Lao food, I recommend eating Lao salad. There are so many varieties to try!
Who are some of the teachers who’ve influenced you over the years?
The person that inspired me as a role model is Dr. Art Ong Jumsai, the scientist who gives his whole life for being a good teacher teaching children to good above anything else. My spiritual aspiration is to teach children to be good people. My mentors encourage me to use all the strength and love that I have to put in teaching.
What’s are some of the Lao values and ideas you’d like to see passed on to the next generation?
In the future, what I consider to be very important for younger generation is to learn about the values of our Lao culture and traditions, and study carefully what shoud be preserved and promoted for the next generation after them. We should spend time thinking ahead about others.
What are some of your big projects these days?
For what I am doing now is to use my music and art skill in bringing interests of younger generation to come and their times learning to discover who they are through their talents.
This could be done in the music and cultural center that we are going to re open in Ban Dongnasok, Sikottabong province in Vientiane capital. After my completion of the study in Education in Human Values we will keep you posted about the re-opening of the center.
Right now, the center is under construction. At this stage we are preparing for many things to be ready such as teacher training, and creating an effective environmental setting for the center to be ready for all learners to come and visit. Right now, the center is under the name Shine Art Children Music and Cultural Center (SCMCC ). We are still fund raising to complete construction, and appreciate any help. In part, it has been financed by sales of natural herbal remedies and music sales. We are optimistic that center will be completed very soon and ready to serve the public for helping both youth and adults who search for ways to become a better person through music and culture under an education in human values.
What keeps you energized and motivated?
What encourages me in doing this is based on the Buhdda’s teaching ” think good, speak good and do good ” and all these three one must act as one to connect between mind, body and spirit together. Therefore the course of Education in Human Values is really a course that transformed my life to realise my true being to be who I am really meant to be for this life.
Little Laos on the Prairie