January 15, 2017

ຖາມຫຍັງກໍໄດ້ - Not Lao?

Ask Anything Series on Laoconnection.comQuestion:  Why do you post stuff about certain ethnic groups or certain people who don't even seem Lao?

Answer:  The stuff we post have always had some sort of Lao connection to it.

In regards to the posts related to different Lao ethnic groups or individuals who, in your words, don't seem to be 100% Lao, I would like to point on that in Laos there are a mix of peoples and ethnicities.

Within Laos, the larger cultural hegemony and primary language is that of the lowland Lao but within the country there are many who are from different ethnic groups.  There are also those who have mixed roots from outside of Laos including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, American and French, for example.

We have to recognize that there are Lao people of mixed backgrounds or those who are bi-racial, and so fourth.  It's important to note that being Lao is not just by birth but also how much a person accepts and truly lives out their Laoness.

For example, even if someone only has partial Lao background, the questions become:  Do they accept and acknowledge their Lao heritage?  Do they live it proudly?  If the answers are yes, then I would say they deserve to be acknowledged as Lao and I wouldn't hesitate to share a post on the blog about them, such as when we shared a post on Mattie Do, an American female film maker who has a Lao-Vietnamese roots and who went back to Laos to make movies.

Additionally, when a post goes up, such as the one we posted about a documentary film about the Akha ethnic group, it's meant to educate and acknowledge that this ethnic group is a part of the cultural fabric of Laos too.

There are also instances where we post material from people who not Lao at all.  However they've perhaps written a book or article, made a video, or created artwork about Laos or Lao culture.  They too deserve to be acknowledged on what they've created.  Examples of this would be when we posted on the passing of Fred Branfman, the original journalist who exposed the Secret War in Laos decades ago.  And when we shared a video by Nate Bartling, who is fluent in Lao and Thai, on the video he made on Vientiane.

All this to say that at Laoconnection.com we're all about being inclusive and informative.

This is a part of the new ຖາມຫຍັງກໍໄດ້ Ask Anything Series here on Laoconnection.com where we're sharing the many questions people have asked us over the years from in-person conversations, email, Facebook, and the blog. 

For those wanting to add to the conversation, your comments below the posts are welcome. Feel free to make contact in Facebook to ask questions.  Most people don't want their names published and that wish will be respected.

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