Speak Lao!!

by cubiclejot on August 31, 2009

Concentrate child!! “I know, I know, lets look past the camera angle and yes the tad bit annoying teenager.” Reality check though most Lao families can relate to this video. Lao parents are confronted with their children steering away from Lao culture, most times beginning with refusing to speak the Lao language. How can you blame them right?  Trying to hold on to your cultural identity can be hard when you are just trying to fit in. Everything you see in the media is telling you to be something else.  Speaking Lao in the household is declining among the young, 1.5 generation and almost nonexistent with 2nd and 3rd generation.  As someone who is likely to become a parent in the next few years, I want to know: how can we stop this cycle of losing our native language, a foundation of Lao culture?   Parents who have been successful with your children let us know how you  did it.  For those currently struggling with the problem like the parents in this video, keep fighting the good fight. 



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

vong September 10, 2009 at 12:19 am

jot, koi yak keen kow deow nee. hait thum mak huong hai koi dai bau?

did i pass the test? teaching & conveying the importance of one’s native tongue to their offspring will continue to be a struggle for many generations to come, especially when living in a society where mainstream is a culture that is not familiar but foreign.

due to the many pressures that immigrant and refugee parents have, they tend to lose the value in maintaining what really matters to them. a lot of parents not only lose focus but also lose their children in a way.

i think what is important and what works are parents who continue to educate their kids about their language and culture throughout their lives, whether the kids want to learn or not. as adults, most will learn to appreciate what cultural identity they are able to retain….but that’s me speaking from experience.

Koydeelai September 24, 2009 at 4:00 am

The girl kinda cute, but she is pretty bad speaking Laotian. At least she trying, gotta to start somewhere.

Grant/ Ania November 13, 2009 at 4:35 am

Sa ba dee. Ben now laa pee nong Jot?

We do need to focus on are native language. This is a good topic Jot, because me and my friends talk about it a lot. We don’t like people who can’t speak their native language. If your parents do know how to speak it and you don’t it seems sort of ridiculous to me. I love that my Rents taught me how to speak Laos. Me and my friends think people who cant speak their native language are White Washed! Meaning they are too American. It could depend though on where you were raised. I know Laos people at my school who cant talk it and it sucks because its fun talking your native language to others that know it. Not only does it matter to me if you can speak it, but it matters to me if you are traditional like are family jot. We go to the wat, and get boun, we believe in Buddha. What im saying is i hate people who don’t keep it traditional like the people who go to the temple and smoke, drink, and party. WELL THERE IS MY OPINION.

Jay Panya February 23, 2010 at 2:26 am

Seep nueng!!!! That’s hilarious!!!

Rice Cooker March 6, 2010 at 5:20 am

Yeah, she’s a cutie. I dunno how people can be so bad at speaking Lao when their parents speaks it to them all the time. Well, right. At least she’s trying. But sometimes I almost feel like she’s faking it.

cesar June 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

please help me! i want to know the traduction of:
yarn tea br dai kup sam
barng thuer ka dai kup barng thuer ka br dai kup sam .
thank you

kevin January 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm

hi can you help me please and traduce this –> KUP WILL SIRI .

thank you=)

Tony September 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I believe that we shouldnt be so quick to blame people because we are all people. If we spend more time with kids and balance our lives then time shouldn’t be much of an issue. Also we should look at the circumstances such as working too much. Peace within the home starts from within the hearts of the people in the home as well as teaching.

Loy August 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Sabaidee!! Love this post. I have been struggling with this issue for many, many years. Just the other day, my sister and I were talking about padek & wondering amongst ourselves, How do they (our aunts and mom) make this stuff? We can’t just buy the ones in the jars. Those aren’t real…etc. Just the way our language is being disregarded, so too are the skills necessary to make a delicacy like padek or to play the kaen. This truly concerns me as unfortunately, I’m not able to read or write in Lao. Although I can speak Lao, it isn’t at a level that I can speak among elders without being embarassed. As my parents, aunts, uncles & grandparents age, I fear that our culture and traditions could be at great risk. But then I find posts like this & it brings me hope. So simply, kop chai lai lai.

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