All posts tagged: Lao New Year

Lao New Year 2013 Series: Building Community and 21st Century Celebrations

In our last post of closing out the year of the dragon, guest blogger Saengmany Ratsabout, talks about the meaning of the new year and communities leading celebrations in the years ahead.   Let’s begin this section by revisiting our inquiry on the relevancy of the Lao New Year festival in the twenty-first century through a community development perspective.  In order to answer this, i would like us to also revisit the three values of Lao New Year, 1) Community, 2) merit-making, and 3) filial piety.  How are these values relevant to the Lao American community in the twenty-first century?  There are more questions here than answers and this section hopes to begin a conversation among elders, emerging community leaders and members of the Lao American community. Award-winning Lao American writer, Bryan Thao Worra writes extensively on the renaissance of Lao American arts and its role in community development.  What role do we see the Lao New Year festival play in providing space for artists of all types to display their talents?  Community festival whether …

Lao New Year 2013 Series: Today’s Diaspora and Changing Cultural Traditions

LLOTP is ringing in the new year today with the second post in the Lao New Year series by our guest blogger, Saengmany Ratsabout, who discusses the Lao diaspora community and our changing cultural traditions. Happy Lao New Year! In the late 1970s and early 1980s as Lao refugees resettled in the United States, the Lao New Year celebration became a tool of self-reflection and identity assurance.  It served as an opportunity for the Lao to practice cultural celebrations and bestow their traditions to future generations.  The sprinkling of water and well-wishes ceremony remains an integral part of the Lao cultural traditions.  Cultural dances to songs such as ‘Champha Muang Lao” and “Tai Dam Lum Phan” speak to the yearning for Laos and the Lao lamenting their difficult journey from the homeland. As the Lao established communities in cities throughout the US, the celebration became not only an avenue of maintaining traditions, but also a way to pave new friendships.  In an early New Year celebration, the Lao community of Worthington, Minnesota celebrated the event …