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All points are generalizations only, based on the personal experiences of the author, who is not a Muslim. As with any other religious group there is a high level of variation between individuals within that group. These points should only be seen as tendencies to look out for and warnings of what to be prepared for, not as certainties. Associating with non-Muslim men or being seen to encourage the prospect is a much riskier proposition for a Muslim girl.

Consequently, Muslim girls will give more subdued signals and will wait for greater certainty before clearly demonstrating interest. If a girl with a headscarf shows the slightest sign of interest then she is very interested.

If she allows herself to be isolated or consents to any kind of public display then sex is a virtual certainty. Remember that to her what others see and think is everything so privacy, secrecy and subtlety are gold.

Sex roles are distinct both in the sense of being clearly different and being defined in a distinctive way. A Muslim girl will be extremely loyal as long as she believes the road to a permanent relationship is open. Showing strength and alpha characteristics is still vital, but at least a nod to beta provider game is indispensable in this demographic.

There is no easy way around this one. Expect deadly serious physical threats from her and from those close to her if they know or suspect the situation. In my experience these threats are always just hot air. On the other hand, everyone has heard about situations where they turned out to be all too serious.

Threats by themselves do not indicate any personal ill will. Just think of them as negotiating tactics. As with all threats it is critical to maintain a steady, untroubled manner. Make a clear decision to dismiss the threat, back down fully or leave then own that choice fully.

Visible fear or vacillation is like waving a red rag at a bull. Choose as safe a medium and environment for such conversations as possible. Acknowledging understanding and requesting time to think, decide or learn can be a useful tactic for escaping a situation that seems imminently dicey.

Muslim girls will feel shame at the thought of others knowing about her forbidden love, but not personal guilt. Consequently her focus will not be on reluctance to do but on reluctance to be seen to do. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of employed persons in Laos work in subsistence agriculture. Rice is the country's principal crop; other significant agricultural products include corn, tobacco, and tea.

In Laos, however, Buddhism is heavily influenced by the cult of phi spirits and Hinduism. The Laotian flag has three horizonal bands, with red stripes at the top and bottom and a blue stripe in the middle.

A large white disk is centered in the blue band. Many Laotian Americans identify more with the pre flag of the Kingdom of Laos than with the present-day flag of the country. This flag was red, with a three-headed white elephant situated on a five-step pedestal, under a white parasol.

The elephant was symbolic of the ancient kingdom of Laos, known as "The Kingdom of a Million Elephants. Laotians trace their ancestry to the T'ai people, an ethnolinguistic group that migrated south from China beginning in the sixth century.

Originally part of the Khmer Cambodian Empire, Laos achieved independence in when Fa Ngum, a prince from the city of Luang Prabang, claimed a large territory from the declining empire and declared himself king, calling the newly established state Lan Xang, or "The Kingdom of a Million Elephants.

The Lao kingdom reached its height in the late s, under King Souligna Vongsa. After his death in , three claimants to the throne broke the kingdom into three distinct principalities, the kingdoms of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Champassak.

Each kingdom struggled for power, causing the weakened Lao states to become vulnerable to the more powerful nations of Siam Thailand and Vietnam. While the Siamese took Vientiane, the Vietnamese took other parts of Laos. By the mid s, almost all of northern Laos was controlled by Vietnam, and almost all the southern and central parts of the country were controlled by Thailand. Only the area around Luang Prabang remained independent.

Vietnam suffered from its own internal problems in the late s and early s, and in French Admiral Rigault de Genouilly attacked and seized Saigon. By , the emperor of Vietnam was forced to recognize French possession of the southern provinces, and Vietnam became a French colony 21 years later.

Laos then became a protectorate, or colony, of France. By , Vientiane had become the administrative capital of French Laos with French commissioners holding administrative power in all the provinces. Although there were some local rebellions against French rule—mainly by the tribes of the hills and mountains—widespread Laotian resistance to the French did not begin until after World War II, when Japan, which had assumed control over Indochina during the war years, was defeated.

The Lao Issara, however, were strongly opposed to French rule in Laos. The prime minister's half-brother, Prince Souphanuvong, called for armed resistance and sought support from the anti-French movement in neighboring Vietnam, the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh. Afterward, an international conference held in Geneva separated Vietnam at the 17th parallel to prevent Ho Chi Minh's communist government from assuming control over the entire nation.

The United States also became involved in the war to deter the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. In Laos, American forces provided tactical and economic support to the royal government but were unsuccessful in their efforts. Thousands of Laotians fled to Thailand where they were placed in refugee camps. While there was some migration from Laos to the United States prior to , the immigrants were so few that there is no official record of them.

Available records do suggest, however, that they were highly professional and technically proficient. After , thousands of Laotian people fled their homeland for the United States; the passage of the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of by Congress aided them in this effort. Early Laotian immigrants included former government administrators, soldiers from the royal army, and shopkeepers.

More recent immigrants from Laos included farmers and villagers who were not as educated as their predecessors. While large numbers of Vietnamese and Cambodians began to settle in the United States almost immediately after socialist governments came to power in the spring of , Laotian refugees did not begin to arrive in America in great numbers until the following year. In contrast to the , Vietnamese and 4, Cambodians who arrived in , only refugees from Laos were admitted into the United States.

This is partially due to the fact that the new Laotian government obtained power in a relatively peaceful manner, despite fighting between the Hmong and the Pathet Lao. In , 10, refugees from Laos, who had fled across the border into Thailand, were admitted to the United States. The number of Laotian refugees dipped to only in and then climbed to 8, in In the years between and , the number of Laotians entering the United States increased dramatically, due to international attention given to the plight of Indochinese refugees in the late s and to the family unification program, which allowed refugees already in the United States to sponsor their relatives.

During these three years, about , people from Laos resettled in America: Although migration from Laos to America never again achieved the stature of this period, the resettlement of Laotians in the United States continued throughout the late s and early s. According to the U. Census, in there were about , Laotian Americans living in the United States. This figure does not include the Hmong and other minority groups from Laos.

Texas held the second largest number of Laotian Americans 9, , with the majority living in Amarillo 1, and Denton 1, Minnesota and Washington State had the third and fourth largest Laotian American populations, with 6, and 6, residents, respectively.

Thirty-four percent 2, of Minnesota's Laotian American population lived in Minneapolis and 46 percent Former refugees from Laos, now living in Brooklyn Center, MN, recall how they were forced to flee war torn Laos nearly 25 years ago. While few Laotian residents live in cities, Laotian Americans are an overwhelmingly urban people, with most living in large metropolitan centers.

Of the , people in America born in Laos this figure includes both ethnic Laotians and Hmong and excludes members of both groups born in America , , people 96 percent lived in urban areas in The remaining four percent lived in rural communities.

This is largely due to the fact that the vast majority of Laotians who immigrated to the United States were unaccustomed to an industrial society and spoke either very little or no English; they migrated to urban areas where they could find work that did not require many skills or language proficiency. As a group, Laotian Americans are substantially younger than the national average.

In , the median age for Laotian Americans was Moreover, Laotian Americans have larger families than other Americans.

In , the average number of people in each Laotian American family was 5. These figures demonstrate that Laotian Americans are a dynamic, rapidly growing community.

Because Laotian Americans are relatively new members of American society, it is difficult to predict to what extent they will assimilate. According to interviews given by Laotian Americans, however, it is apparent that many individuals have had to alter their viewpoints considerably to better adapt to American society.

For example, such common "American" acts as touching, kissing, slapping someone on the back, waving, pointing one's feet at another person, and looking directly into someone's eyes are considered rude in Laotian culture. The majority of Laotian Americans have maintained a low profile in the United States. Consequently, few Americans have much knowledge of Laotian culture and people and, as a result, there are few stereotypes—positive or negative—regarding Laotian Americans.

I can't and don't intend to stop this natural process. I just want them not to forget their own culture. The ideal is the combination of the positive traits of the two cultures. Many Laotian Americans have retained the values they brought with them from their homeland. Most significant among these values is the practice of Buddhism, which pervades every aspect of Laotian American life. While individual Laotian Americans may not follow all Buddhist teachings, its philosophy serves as a behavorial guide.

The family is also highly important to Laotian Americans. In Laos, where the majority of people work in agriculture, families often work together to produce the goods necessary for their livelihood. In the United States, this practice has been altered somewhat since the majority of Laotian Americans work outside the home in urban communities.

Nonetheless, Laotian Americans often live in close proximity to their extended family and such family values as respect for one's parents have remained constant.

Laotian American children are expected to respect and care for their parents throughout their adult life. Education has also become extremely important among Laotian Americans.

Often, the family's future is dependent upon their children's success in school. We sacrifice for them, and the only thing they can pay back is to study well.

Laotian proverbs often express an earthy and practical sort of folk wisdom that is rooted in the experiences of generations of hard-working farmers. The Lao have brought countless proverbs to America with them, including the following examples: If you're shy with your teacher, you'll have no knowledge; if you're shy with your lover, you'll have no bedmate; Don't teach a crocodile how to swim; Keep your ears to the fields and your eyes on the farm; If you have money, you can talk; if you have wood, you can build your house; Water a stump and you get nothing; Speech is silver, silence is gold; Follow the old people to avoid the bite of a dog; It's easy to find friends who'll eat with you, but hard to find one who'll die with you; It's easy to bend a young twig, but hard to bend an old tree.

Most Laotian holidays and festivals have religious origins. The Lao word for "festival," boon, literally means "merit" or "good deed. Two of the most important festivals are the Pha Vet, which commemorates the life of the Buddha in the fourth lunar month, and the Boon Bang Fay, or "rocket festival. Laotian cuisine is spicy. Most meals contain either rice khao or rice noodles khao poon. The rice may be glutinous khao nyao or nonglutinous khao chao , but glutinous, or "sticky," rice is the food most often associated with Laotian cuisine.

The rice is accompanied by meat, fish, and vegetables. Meats are often chopped, pounded, and spiced to make a dish known as lap, and fish is usually eaten with a special sauce called nam ba. The sticky rice is usually taken in the thumb and first three fingers and used to scoop up other foods.

A papaya salad spiced with hot peppers, Laotian tribeswomen gather near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. Many Laotian Americans still eat Lao-style foods at home. These dishes are also available at most Thai restaurants, since the cooking of northeastern Thailand is almost identical to that of Laos.

Sticky rice and other ingredients for Lao foods are likewise available at most stores that specialize in Asian foods. In areas that have large Laotian American communities, there are also a number of Lao markets where these ingredients may be purchased. On special occasions marked by the sookhwan ceremony, some Laotian American women wear traditional costumes.

The staple of their attire is the sinh, a skirt made from a piece of silk brocade about two yards long that is wrapped around the waist. It is often held in place by a belt made of silver buckles or rings. Accompanying the sinh is a shawl, or a strip of material, which is draped over the left shoulder and under the right arm.

Some Laotian American men wear ethnic costumes at weddings, especially during the sookhwan ritual, and on stage during a maw lam performance, when actors sometimes don the sampot, or baggy trousers worn in Laos before French occupation.

Traditional Laotian medicine involves massages and herbal cures. Practitioners of traditional medicine may be laypeople or monks. Since sickness is often seen as a problem of spiritual essence, the khwan, chants, and healing rituals are often used to cure illnesses.

Although some traditional Lao medicine may be found in the United States, particularly in places that have large Laotian American communities, the practice of mainstream western medicine in America appears to be much more common.

Laotian Americans are more likely to visit a community clinic than any other type of medical establishment. As new arrivals, their mental health generally follows a pattern common to refugees.

The first year in the United States tends to be a period of euphoria at having reached their destination. The second year tends to be a time of psychological shock, producing feelings of helplessness as the strangeness of the new environment becomes apparent.

New Laotian Americans usually begin to adjust during the third or fourth year in the United States. Lao is a tonal language; therefore, the meaning of a word is determined by the tone or pitch at which it is spoken. Although the tones vary somewhat from one part of the country to another, the dialect of the capital, Vientiane, is considered standard Lao.

In Vientiane there are six tones: Changing the tone of a word makes it a different word. The sound "kow," pronounced much like the English "cow," spoken with a high tone means "an occasion, a time. The Lao alphabet is phonetic, meaning that each Lao letter stands for a sound. Lao writing has 27 consonant symbols that are used for 21 consonant sounds.

There are more symbols than sounds because different consonants are used to begin words of different tones. The Lao alphabet also has 38 vowel symbols, representing 24 vowel sounds. These 24 sounds are made up of nine simple vowels and three diphthongs vowels made up of two vowel sounds , each of which has a short form and a long form. The sounds are written with more than 24 symbols because some of them are written differently at the end of a word and in the middle of a word.

All Lao words end in a vowel or in a consonant sound similar to the English "k," "p," "t," "m," "n," or "ng. This is why some Laotian Americans who learned English as a second language may occasionally pronounce "fish" as "fit" or "stiff" as "stip. The graceful, curving letters of the Laotian alphabet are based on the Khmer Cambodian alphabet, which, in turn, was developed from an ancient writing system in India. Although the Lao writing system is not the same as the Thai writing system, the two are very similar, and anyone who can read one language can read the other with only a little instruction.

Common Laotian American greetings and expressions include: Sabai dee baw —How are you? Most Laotian literature consists of oral tales and religious texts. Laotian oral literature often takes the form of poetry and is sung or chanted to the accompaniment of a hand-held bamboo pipe organ called the khene pronounced like the word "can" in American English.

Such poetry is most often used in theater, or opera, known as maw lam. The maw lam leuang, or "story maw lam, " is similar to European opera; a cast of actors in costume sing and act out a story, often drawn from historical or religious legend. Maw lam khoo, or " maw lam of couples," involves a young man and a young woman. The man flirts with the woman through inventive methods and she refuses him with witty verse responses. Maw lam chote, or "maw lam competition," is a competition in verse sung between two people of the same gender, in which each challenges the other by asking questions or beginning a story that the other must finish.

In maw lam dio, or " maw lam alone," a single narrator sings about almost any topic. Among the many legends and folktales told by Laotians and Laotian Americans, the stories about the character Xieng Mieng are among the most popular. Xieng Mieng is a trickster figure who plays pranks on people of various social classes. Other popular tales involve legends taken from Buddhist writings, especially the Sip Sat, stories about the last ten lives of the Buddha before he was reborn and achieved enlightenment.

All Laotian religious literature is made up of the same Buddhist texts used by other Theravada Buddhists. These include the Jataka, the five Vinaya, the Dighanikaya, and the Abhidamma, all of which are scriptures written in Pali, an ancient language from India still used for religious purposes in countries practicing Theravada Buddhism. Verses in Pali known as the parittam are also important to Laotian Buddhists and are chanted by monks to protect people from a variety of dangers.

In the United States, Laotian monks have successfully retained Laotian religious literature. In addition, secular legends and stories, told through the medium of maw lam, may be heard at gatherings in cities with large Laotian American communities. In Laos, men represent their family in village affairs, while women are responsible for running the household and controlling the financial affairs of the family. Among Laotian Americans, however, female employment is an important source of family income, and it is common for Laotian American women to work outside the home.

Fifty percent of Laotian American women and 58 percent of Laotian American men participate in the American labor force.

Because of the relative equality between men and women in Laotian American society, many Laotian American men share responsibility for completing household tasks. While Laotian American men almost always hold the official positions of leadership in community organizations, women are also quite active in their communities and are often important though usually unacknowledged decision makers. The most common family arrangement in Laos is that of a nuclear family that lives in close proximity to their extended family.

In the United States, extended families have, in many cases, become even more important to Laotian Americans for social and financial support. This interdependence may account for the low divorce rate among Laotian Americans. In , only about four percent of Laotian Americans over the age of 15 who had been married were divorced, while nearly 12 percent of the American population over 15 years of age who had been married were divorced.

The practice of dating is also new to Laotian American immigrants, as it simply was not done in their homeland. In Laos couples usually come to know one another in the course of village life. In the United States, however, many young people date, although this custom is not always embraced by their parents.

Since Laotian Americans are such a young group, their prospects for continuing adaptation are good, especially considering the scholastic successes of Laotian American children. Whitmore, and Marcella H. Choy asserted that refugee children, including Laotians, "spoke almost no English when they came, and they attend predominantly inner-city schools whose reputations for good education are poor.

Yet by , we find that the Indochinese had already begun to move ahead of other minorities on a national basis, and, two years later, their children are already doing very well on national tests. Despite these accomplishments, few Laotian American young people attend college; this may be attributed to the economic disadvantages of their families.

Laotian American young people also had relatively high dropout rates; Many Laotian Americans retain the ritual practices of their culture. The most common of all Laotian rituals is the baci pronounced "bah-see" or sookhwan, which is performed at important occasions.

The word sookhwan may be interpreted as "the invitation of the khwan " or "the calling of the khwan. Together, the khwan are thought to constitute the spiritual essence of a person. The baci is a ritual binding of the spirits to their possessor.

Even Laotians who do not believe in the existence of the khwan will usually participate in the baci as a means of expressing goodwill and good luck to others. In the baci ceremony, a respected person, usually an older man who has been a monk, invokes the khwan in a loud, song-like voice.

He calls on the spirits of all present to cease wandering and to return to the bodies of those present. My skin tone is naturally dark. Which of these cities would you rather visit? Which of these groups of hair colors does your natural shade belong to? Which of these is your most enviable feature?

Which of these women do you believe is most attractive? Embed Embed This Section. Instant Articles supported Click here to embed Embed a constantly updated feed of playful items about. We've got a new embed code! Click here if you have any questions.

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