Buddhism permeates much of life in Laos and
comes to clear expression in art and architecture. The
Communist regime is committed to defending and
preserving the uniqueness of the country's culture, not
least as a counterbalance to the growing foreign -
especially Thai - influence.
The many Buddhist buildings are covered with frescoes
and ornaments that tell stories of Buddha's life. Famous
is the temple (stupan) Pha That Luang from the 16th
century in the capital Vientiane. In Thai architecture,
a Thai influence can also be traced.
Latest population statistics of Laos, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Modern Laotian literature emerged in connection with
nationalist trends during the 1940s, when the art of
letterpress was introduced in the country. The main
examples of Laotian poetry are proverbs on rhyme, phagna
souphasite, and narrative ballads, lambs. Popular
literature is often made up of lambs. The classic
literature consists, among other things, of medical and
astrological texts with roots in the Indian thought
After the communist takeover of 1975, literature
became the foremost task of paying homage to socialism.
Since the start of economic liberalization in the
mid-1980s, short stories with personal feelings and some
regime criticism have been published.
Although a few feature films have been produced in
Laos in recent decades, most have been patriotic
propaganda films. In 2008, the first privately funded
film, the romantic drama Sabaidee Luang Prabang (Good
Morning Luang Prabang), was allowed to be filmed in the
country - albeit under strict supervision by the
authorities. The government's hope is that film
recordings will contribute to the country's economy. But
when Australian film director Kim Mordaunt recorded the
movie The Rocket (La Rocket) with Laotian actors in Laos
in 2013, it was forbidden to appear in Laos (it should
have been shown at the Luang Prabang film festival). The
film, which has won several international awards, is
about how a controversial dam construction forces people
to move against their will (see Natural Resources,
Energy and Environment).
Laotian music, song and dance have much in common
with the Thai counterparts. The national instrument is
kaan, a mouth organ that is often accompanied by
xylophone and cymbals and is often used when dancing the
popular ring dance lam wong. The rhythm is important,
and solo and alternate songs occupy a central place. The
element of religious and ritual music is great.
For a long time, modern pop was forbidden, but
Laotian youth nevertheless listened to such music from
Thailand. Nowadays, Laotian groups can be formed, some
have even made a career in Thailand.
Many decision makers die in a plane crash
A number of high-ranking politicians and decision-makers die in an air crash
50 miles north of Vientiane. The victims include Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Defense Douangchay Phichith, Security Minister Thongbanh Sengaphone,
Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and Vientiane Mayor
New finance minister will reduce budget deficit
As part of efforts to strengthen the state's financial discipline and curb
the growing budget deficit, Phouphet Khamphounvong is replaced by Lien Thikeo,
former governor of Sayabouri Province, as finance minister.