ERIC Number: ED334343
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Laos Culturally Speaking.
This booklet about the cultural background of Laos is one of three booklets that serve as a foundation for understanding the cultural diversity and values of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese students. Laos is a country of great cultural and ethnic diversity. The following political and economic factors have influenced the development of modern Laos: (1) Laos is the only landlocked Southeast Asian country; (2) the economy is based on primitive agriculture; (3) the population is centered in small, scattered villages, always near a river; and (4) the country is a "buffer state" between neighboring countries and has suffered from constant warfare. Brahmanism, spirit worship, and Buddhism have influenced the Lao conception of the universe. Human beings are perceived as a complex mixture of animal and spiritual natures. Laotians believe in a reincarnational cycle in which the present life is regarded as one life among many. Celebrations and ceremonies are related to the life stages of child, adolescent, adult, and parent. The elementary and secondary secular school system is based on the French system, but most Laotians prefer the Buddhist temple schools, which emphasize spiritual development. Most literature is presented orally. Due to geographic and religious limitations, the Lao people know little about life beyond their immediate villages. Descriptions of four major holidays, one chart, and one map are included. A 32-item bibliography is appended. (FMW)
Descriptors: Asian History, Cultural Background, Cultural Context, Cultural Traits, Educational Background, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnology, Foreign Countries, Geography, Individual Differences, Laotians, Political Influences, Values
Multifunctional Resource Center, San Diego State University, 5300 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182.
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: San Diego State Univ., CA. Multifunctional Resource Center.
Identifiers - Location: Laos