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.
Funny thing happened when I handed this to one of my young nieces with some cash, her first response was what's 2556? For some reason I thought she knew already about the Buddhist year. I had to explain that was the Lao/Buddhist year and why we have that number. Situations like that remind me how important it is to teach younger Lao generations about the many facts and facets about Lao culture and Buddhism. In any case, they did like the cards. I also gave one to each of my parents which was also well received.
Admittedly, the card I made is basic and simple. The picture doesn't quite do it justice because in real life the Buddha image has more shimmer to it. The Buddha and the writing are done with gold ink on a blue textured cardstock paper. If I make cards next new year, I think I might consider changing them up and adding even more pazzaz to them - we'll see...
How about you out there? Would you make your own new year cards? Consider it. Or just do it for the kids. :p
- Submitted by: VM