Monday, October 31, 2011
When generations talk in Laos
It is a interesting experience when you listen to oversea Lao people who are coming back to Laos. The country as they know it is quite difficult from what it is now. On the other hand, the now young generation has no idea how Laos was when their grand parents left. So both of them now have to adapt to each other. What is not so easy: Sometimes young people are quite bored about the stories of the old Laos. Sometimes the old people don't want to accept the way it is now. But the permanent reality check let them come closer. It can have an interesting effect for the society: Not only young Lao people get a different picture of life abroad (with all advantages and disadvantages), they also get first hand knowledge about the life before the war in Laos. They may recognize that what they learned in school is different from what their family members tell them (and what they see on the internet). Also, returning Lao people face reality when they settle down here, experience bureaucracy and corruption on an extend they may have not expected. As an older Lao mentioned: "You can't get proper tools here. Not even proper chairs. Why my Lao people don't produce stuff instead of importing everything from Thailand."