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
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
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.
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