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Lao Culture

If you want to get involved with a Lao woman for a serious relationship, you need to try to understand, respect and appreciate Lao culture or at least the important part of it because you'll be adapting them into your life when you are married.

As you are probably well aware of, Laos is a buddhist country so virtually every Lao women living in Laos follows buddhism. That doesn't necessarily mean that they go to the temple or practice the religion every day but there will be times during the year when they will attend buddhist ceremonies at temples and times when they will hold ceremonies at home and offer foods for the monks during special and sad occassions.

You don't have to change your religion, but to understand how to sit and pray, how to approach and talk politely to a monk, the meaning of white strings on peoples wrists, little things like this shows the woman and her parents that you have the utmost respect for their beliefs.

It is also crucial that you know what to do and what not to do. For instance, when entering a Lao person's house you should always take off your shoes because this reduces the dirt that get tracked in. It is impolite for Lao people to tell you to take off your shoes so they never say anything, but if you don't take it off when entering their house that will be showing a lack of manners and you'll be making a bad impression of yourself. Temples and museums in Laos also require you to take off your shoes for spiritual, traditional and cleanliness reasons.

When you walk closely past a Lao person who is sitting down on the couch or floor, you should always bend your knees and lower your body and move pass them slowly otherwise it will be rude and disrespectful. You can also say "Khor taught" meaning "Please excuse me" but it is not necessary. It is not necessary to bend your knees and lower your body when walking pass a child, but it is important to do this for an elder.

You should also never point your finger at images of buddha because these are sacred in Laos. Don't touch someones head, don't point your foot at someone or something and don't point your finger at somone. As for table manners don't make any noise while eating but that's just plain common sense, don't leave food on your plate as it is considered wasteful in Lao culture and don't lick your fingers.

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