• Vat Ong Tu: procession marking end of Buddhist Lent

    This part of the procession is led by a few officials in formal dress but is composed mainly of Buddhist laymen from the community.

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  • Ban Pha Khao: mother with children

    This mother is wearing an Indonesian batik sarong, common in much of Southeast Asia as an inexpensive alternative to local, handmade designs.

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  • That Luang fair: Thai exhibit

    These young novice monks are standing in front of a model of a Thai royal barge.

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  • Factory gate

    This factory has a sign in Thai, French, and Chinese, but interestingly there is no Lao.

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  • Fa Ngum school: chemistry class

    Interestingly, the chemistry class pictured here is mainly male.

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  • Morning Market: Vietnamese stores

    This Vietnamese-owned store offers books and tailoring services. These two categories of items would have had limited relevance for much of the population who shopped at the Morning Market.

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  • Village stand

    Even fairly small villages like Ban Pha Khao often feature a stand selling snacks and a variety of convenience items.

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  • Carrying giant candle to vat on eve of Phansa

    These women are following the giant candle with offerings for relatives who will become monks during Phansa. Despite women's subordinate position in the ideology of Buddhism, they play an important ro…

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  • Villas under construction

    An example of the housing boom in Vientiane of the late 1960s. A similar boom in the building of villas is occuring in Laos now (2004).

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  • Boat races: monks as spectators

    The presence of these monks at this festival would probably be considered auspicious. The boat races are held at the same time as "awk phansa", the festival marking the end of the rains retreat for Bu…

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  • Ministry of Finance

    The shed in front of the building would seem to indicate that construction was still going on at the time of the photo.

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  • Morning Market: beggar

    Laos has few beggars. When one does encounter them, they are often victims of war and usually use this prayer gesture to beseech passersby.

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  • Morning Market: tailors

    Another shot of the tailor shops seen in the previous slides. The motorbike, the children's hobby horses, and the French and English titles and American name of the tailor shop do indicate another wor…

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  • Chinese temple

    After the French helped rebuild Vientiane, there was for a time a strong Chinese and especially Sino-Vietnamese presence. Although many left after the communist revolution, this temple still stands as…

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  • Ban Pha Khao: villagers praying (note segregation of sexes, male privacy)

    Some of these old women have their hair cropped short, meaning they may have recently served as Buddhist nuns.

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  • KM-6 American houses

    Since the Americans departed Laos, lawns like this are almost non-existent in the country. Green lawns were as much a projection of American culture as were the housing styles.

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  • Vice President of World Bank

    In the 1960s a major focus of foreign aid in Laos was linked to the Mekong project which had great significance to Thailand as well as Laos. This was an example of a large, high impact aid activity th…

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  • Hawker cart--across from USAID

    Carts selling peeled, ready-to-eat fruit such as this are a common site in Vientiane.

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  • Woman with baby

    A woman carrying her baby slung on her back while shopping at the morning market. Note the woman's earrings.

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  • Procession of officials into Vat Ong Tu prior to ceremony

    Note the Lao national and Buddhist flags above the temple gate. The juxtaposition suggests a naturalized link between Buddhism and Laos as a nation-state.

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