Author: Savannah Rattanavong

A Little Laos shopping guide

With Christmas just around the corner and other holiday celebrations, many Little Laos readers are likely well in the midst of gift shopping. However, if you’re still at a loss, want to think about gifts for other occasions or just want to treat yourself, consider supporting some of these Lao-themed brands and businesses with this handy shopping guide. Don’t see your favorite? Chime in in the comments section below. -FOOD & SNACKS- Ninja Foods Making tham mak hoong has never been easier. Just add some some instant and authenetic papaya salad sauce from Ninja Foods to any food you’d like. Their sauces come in three spice levels — mild, medium and hot. theninjafoods.com, $5 Lat14 Inspired by the diverse backgrounds of its culinary team, Lat14, a restaurant based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, serves a bit more upscale versions of your favorite Lao, Thai, Cambodian foods and more. Take your taste buds on a trip around the world and visit if you get the chance. lat14.com Soul Lao Soul Lao is a traveling food truck based …

Saymoukda Vongsay unpacks family, migration and identity in debut children’s book

When writer Saymoukda Vongsay first wrote “When Everything Was Everything,” a poem depicting the Lao refugee experience, she didn’t expect it to transform into what it is today. In her first children’s book of the same name, Vongsay reveals glimpses into her childhood as a young Lao girl navigating America with her displaced family. Touching on universal and present topics like refugee experiences, class, and family,  the story connects with children and adults of all ages. Although the book was just released this past month, its inception spans even farther. Vongsay said she wrote “When Everything Was Everything” around seven years ago at a writers workshop for women of color as a last-ditch “hurrah” before quitting her writing career. One prompt asked the group to think of a time in their lives that involved a lot of movement or migration and Vongsay said she thought back to her early years. “I just created this list of all the times I felt my family moved or migrated,” she said. “I was also looking up movement in other …