Back with my promised post!
Handicrafts are a big part of Lao culture and I’m happy I’ve had the chance to learn more about them with my job. This tradition is mainly lead by women and passed on to their daughters who in turn practice various forms, such as weaving. Recently, more and more women are going back to weaving to help support their families and to revive the tradition they grew up with. Many of them have been unable to practice the art of weaving since the Vietnam War, as they had to flee.
The Night Market is a must-see for tourists in Luang Prabang. A whole street is closed off around 5 and hundreds of red tents are set up to house beautiful handicrafts and other items. Thanks to Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre that I visited, I came to understand how positive this market was for many Lao families. Since 2002, families have been able to sell traditional handicrafts to locals and tourists and in return have escaped poverty. Parents are able to provide for their children year-round and can send them to school. Of course, some of the handicrafts have slightly changed to appeal to the tourism industry but in general the production has stayed the same.
My I-could’ve-bought-so-much-more list of purchases:
- Hippie pants (typical south-east asia tourist…couldn’t resist)
- Pillow covers
- Suprise present for Dax (my 1 1/2 year old best friend)
Would you look at that self-control! 2014 Marielle would’ve brought back another suitcase full of stuff.
Last but not least, C and I went to Hive Bar on our last night, a delicious restaurant that puts on a ethnic fashion show every night! They hire university students to model ethnic clothing and pay them a full day’s wage, thereby helping support their education. Really cool place with a great mission.
Since that trip, I’ve been busy with work and friends!
I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! I’m waiting on someone to mail me a few Coffee Crisp chocolate bars…anyone?