Found a really cool profile on Flickr. Whoever created this has compiled images of different Lao writing, fonts, styles and typography from a variety of sources including signs, documents, computer generated fonts, license plates, many from past to present and some are handwritten or hand painted. Have a look below.
The conference just recently wrapped up last week on April 19-21 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. It continues to grow and improve with each conference. This year saw dozens of speakers, panel participants, and presenters all ranging in variety of issues from environmental, cultural, political, developmental to health, history, literature and handicrafts (among many other topics). Further, there were also films screened, cultural performances and lots of delicious Lao food.
Congrats to the Center for Lao Studies as well as to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (which was also where the conference was held) and to all those who helped to make it a success. Many people and many donors involved and so much positive effort and support among the community, both local and academic.
Eat rice or even sticky rice – and like it! If you’re
reading this and you’re non-Asian, we know that non-Asians may not
prefer to eat or even like rice. However, we Lao people love our rice.
It’s practically a passion and it's generally eaten at every meal. So
get on board and if you can eat sticky rice, even better! More points
to you. And if you don’t like rice, keep it to yourself. The
perception is that if you can’t even handle eating rice, how will you be
able to handle anything else? You won’t be dating for very long...
Eat spicy food – endure it like a son of a bitch! :)
That’s right, Lao people love spicy food and if you can show that you
too can endure that hot spicy deliciousness of whatever is in front of
you, well that will surely count towards your points.
How to impress your Lao date, boyfriend or girlfriend?
So you're dating a Lao person (be it a girl, guy, tranny or what have you – we’re not judging here!), but you're uncertain of what you could do to impress them, to show consideration of their Lao heritage, to be able to somehow acknowledge their cultural sensibilities and yet ensure that you both have a great time.
Alright, so we know that creating new year cards is not a real Lao tradition, although I must admit I was feeling particularly festive this year and wanted to be able to hand out some nice cards with a bit of money to my family and friends. And yes I know that in of itself is not necessarily a Lao tradition either though in Laos it's customary to give utilitarian type gifts during this time to loved ones.
For being a landlocked country with no direct borders to an ocean or sea, Laos still holds its own when it comes to the number of fish species within its borders. For example, in a report written by Maurice Kottelat in 2000 (see reference below) reported on 64 new species of fishes from Laos during his time of study. At the time, it brought up the number of total species to 481.
A fun video profile of Champassak province in Lao PDR, narrated in English. It appears to be a tourism and travel promo for this province that was created in 2008. Full credits at the end of the video.
Credit: Posted by Hotasia.com and posted by Youtube user LaoLaneXang4Life
There's seems to be a regular flow of books dedicated to the city of Luangprabang, Laos' old former royal capital (which I'll call "LP" for short), that are often released once every few years. By my calculation, I'm predicting another book on LP this year or may be next year. It would seem a lot of people have really taken to the old romanticism of the town. Understandably so, with its history, quaintness, art, architecture, friendly people, good food, small town feel, and not to mention its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and so fourth.
As I find myself typing out this piece for the interweb and the blogosphere, I'm reminded of the days when I was driving my borrowed Yamaha motorbike with my cheap, big, grey helmet and enjoying the evening ride with the sun setting softly allowing for a cooler breeze to blow through my body. A welcomed relief from the hot sun during much of the day. As the sun continued to set over the city, some streets would be fully lit up by artificial lighting and roadside barbeque fires by those selling evening dinner food. The delicious smell of barbecued chicken and the sweet spicy smell of papaya salad. All you'd need is some sticky rice and a bottle of Beer Lao to finish a meal like that. I eventually made my way to a quiet spot along the Mekong River to do something I had often done while visiting Laos and something you often read about in travel journals and books - that is, to sit and watch the sunset over the Mekong.
This is a video clip from last year's Lao New Year 2555/2012. It took place at the Lao Embassy in Thailand where Thai Princess, HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, not only attended but also sang for the crowd. If you haven't seen the video yet, check it out below.