Poems & Proverbs

Poems and Proverbs

This chapter is designed to provide the reader with a feel for the old Lao poems — more so about what they mean than about how they sound—and some of the photos of significance to the Lao nation during 1960-1975.

Photo #179. The Lao people are traditionally good, polite and courteous people

Lao Nation

My country is called Muang Lao

It is a big country that stretches to the horizon

Crossed by the Mekong River and clean highways.

This is a large territory of our birth

We need to build the Lao nation and ensure its longevity

So that it does not lag behind


Lao Nationality

When you are born Lao, you have to help the Lao

As a Lao native, you have to be perseverant

Anything that the Lao stand for, you have to protect it fiercely

We are Lao, we need to love each other

And cooperate with each other for the good of the nation


Lao Natural Resources

Listen to the cries of the tigers, lions and elephants that resonate throughout the forests

You can also hear the clear calls of the birds

You can see all kinds of horse breeds

Some of them screaming loudly

You can see trees full of monkeys and gibbons

Jumping agilely from branch to branch


That Louang Monument

On the ground of the Sisattanak City

People were having more fun than in heaven

Especially under the clear sky after the end of the rainy season

During the 12th month of the year when everything is wide open

People flock in to offer prayers at the temple

Burning candles and incense sticks, and performing merit-making rituals


Rivers and Streams

Under a dark and cloudy sky

I watch the wide Mekong River bed

And only see the sky and feel the breeze

Some clouds are heavy and moving fast

Others are colorful and beautiful

Moving slowly over a wide space

I see boats moving up and down the river under the breeze

It was cool and refreshing.



In my school, we are all friends regardless of our ages

I always love them like my family members

I don’t make noise when told so by the teacher.

My friends sit in rows; we don’t talk loudly.

We are a group of real Lao

We have many schools and teachers who teach us well

How to write and read and deal with numbers

We learn many things.

I never miss school

Those who do not care and cannot read

Are like blind eyes that cannot see and tell you where to go.



In my family, my sister and brother help my parents cook

When I hear my younger brother cries, asking for breast feeding from my mother

I go in and pick him up, like my mother would.

My sister and my mother are happy

I don’t waste time walking around and playing

After dinner, I read and not play around like I used to.



My village has a temple where people come to listen to prayers on special Buddhist days

On the Phavet celebration day, a procession is organized

I really enjoy listening to the priests making their prayers

Telling us not to commit bad deeds

I listen with the adults and keep my tongue quiet



When we are alone, life is very easy but not very happy

Living with a spouse is very happy but not easy

Life in rural areas means a lot of lively activities but no careers

Life in urban areas means careers but is not very lively.


Animal Voices

Birds are noisy; and dog barks are not worth paying attention to.



To marry a young wife is like taking care of nine old cows.

To marry an old wife is like taking care of nine mothers.


Attitudes to Avoid

A daughter-in-law treats her mother-in-law like a deranged woman

A mother-in-law treats her daughter-in-law like a devil.


Differences between Men and Animals

Road equals Horses

Time equals Men