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News & Events
Valerie Olla

Boung Bang Fai or the Rocket Festival in Laos! 

The Rocket Festival in Laos – centered around launching “rockets” – typically lasts two to three days and is packed with fun activities. The rockets are believed to carry prayers to Phaya Thaen, the god of rain. People hope that the higher the rocket goes, the more rain they will receive for a bountiful harvest.

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Spotlight on Lao Artisans!
Friends of OPT
Valerie Olla

Lao Artisans in the Spotlight!

During our annual Village Market Fair a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to collaborate with photographers Nicolas Henry and Floriane de Lassée to put some of the Lao artisans we work with – through our Village Weavers Project – in the spotlight. A beautiful opportunity for us to highlight these artisans, their ethnic groups and their crafts.

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How is Khmu New Year Celebrated?
News & Events
Valerie Olla

How is Khmu New Year Celebrated?

In Laos, the different ethnic groups don’t all celebrate the new year at the same time. If Lao New Year is generally celebrated in April, the Khmu community celebrates the new year between December and January. We happily joined the celebrations in Ban Lak Pad a couple of weeks ago! Sum Mai Lur Pi Ham Me (Happy New Year in Khmu)!

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And there was light...
News & Events
Valerie Olla

And there was light…

The Festival of Lights, also known as “Boun Lai Heua Fai”, is a significant and colorful celebration in Laos. The importance of illuminations during this festival is multifaceted and deeply rooted in both religious and cultural significance. So much so that we thought it would be interesting to shed light on it…

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The Legend of Sam Neua
Textile of the Moment
Valerie Olla

The Legend of Sam Neua!

We couldn’t think of a better double entendre than “The Legend of Sam Neua” to talk about Mrs. Phan Phoumaneevong, known as Mae Thao Linthong. The woman is a legend and she weaves… legends and stories using her unique skills. And when we say unique here, we mean it in a literal way, she’s the only one in Laos weaving these designs. Let’s learn more about this legend!

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Let’s celebrate Boun Suang Heua, the Boat Racing Festival
News & Events
Valerie Olla

Let’s celebrate Boun Suang Heua,
the Boat Racing Festival

Boun Suang Heua or the Boat Racing Festival, usually happens between August and September in Luang Prabang. This year, we followed the Phanluang team in their preparations for what is one of the most important and popular festivals in Luang Prabang, attracting visitors from all over the country.

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Don't Yuck my Yum
News & Events
Valerie Olla

Don’t Yuck my Yum!

On this balmy morning – bear in mind that it’s still 6 a.m. and the temperature is going to go way up later on during the day – we’re following Moonoy, our Retail Manager, through the morning market. A short stroll to get you acquainted with food that you might not be familiar with depending on where you live… A little introduction so you “don’t yuck (my) yum!” on your (next) visit to Laos!

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Sabaidee Pi Mai Lao!
News & Events
Valerie Olla

Sabaidee Pi Mai Lao! Happy New Year!

Sabaidee Pi Mai Lao! Happy New Year! Lao New Year is celebrated annually in mid-April and is known as “Pi Mai” in Lao. In Luang Prabang, the celebration usually lasts for three days, starting on April 14th and ending on April 16th. This year, it was the first full-fledged celebration since borders had closed in March 2020. So you can bet the town went all out!

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Happy Hmong New Year!
News & Events
Valerie Olla

Let’s Celebrate Hmong New Year!

After Khmu New Year, it’s now time to celebrate Hmong New Year. As mentioned previously, in Laos the different ethnic groups don’t all celebrate the new year at the same time. If Lao New Year is celebrated in April, the Hmong community celebrates the new year between December and January. We joined the celebrations in Ban Vang Ngern last week! Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab (Happy New Year in Hmong)!

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Happy Khmu New Year!
News & Events
Valerie Olla

Happy Khmu New Year!

In Laos, the different ethnic groups don’t all celebrate the new year at the same time. If Lao New Year is generally celebrated in April, the Khmu community celebrates the new year between December and January. We happily joined the celebrations in Ban Lak Pad last week! Sum Mai Lur Pi Ham Me (Happy New Year in Khmu)!

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afghan jewellery
Radio Ock Pop Tok
Radio Ock Pop Tok

Ramzia Khorami and Maryam Omar: Afghan Jewellery & Design

Meet Ramzia Khorami and Maryam Omar, two vanguards bringing Afghan jewellery and Silk Road-era crafts to the contemporary global marketplace. Ramzia handcrafts Afghan jewellery using traditional techniques. Maryam manages Turquoise Mountain’s Design Center (listen to the previous episode featuring the organization). This is a rare opportunity to hear about the country’s burgeoning crafts and design sector directly from Afghan women.

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