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CultureShock! Laos

Book Description

CultureShock! Laos points you on the right path to appreciating the culture and customs of this land-locked nation. Discover the impact of its five immediate neighbours on the land and see how Laos' wartime history and the time spent as a French protectorate in the late 19th century have influenced the people's way of life. This book covers everything—from the difference between the 132 officially recognised ethnic groups to the reverence accorded to Buddhist monks—to provide a shortcut to understanding the Lao. Practical information on settling down, engaging domestic help as well as how to behave in various business scenarios make CultureShock! Laos essential reading for anyone going there for the long haul. Last but not least, kick back and enjoy as we highlight the best of the country's arts, heritage and cultural offerings and recreational activities.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. About the Series
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Map of Laos
  9. Chapter 1 First Impressions
  10. Chapter 2 An Overview
    1. Geography
    2. Climate
    3. Environment
    4. Pre-History
    5. History
    6. The Struggle for Power
    7. Religion
    8. The Economy
  11. Chapter 3 People
    1. Identity
    2. Education and Literacy
    3. The Three Categories of Lao
    4. Culture
    5. Lao Ways of Thinking
    6. To Sin or Not to Sin?
    7. Traditional Buddhist Values
    8. The Secret Life of the Lao
    9. Merit-Making
    10. The Lao Family
    11. Khatoeys and Toms
    12. Names
    13. Status and Flattery
    14. Cool Hearts
    15. Diasters
    16. Spirits
  12. Chapter 4 The Lao and You
    1. Body Image
    2. Touching Hellos
    3. Smiling
    4. Laughter
    5. Excuse Me
    6. Body Language
    7. Slowness
    8. Lao English
    9. Telephones
    10. Speech Habits
    11. Development
    12. Time
    13. Age
    14. Visiting a Lao
    15. Paying
    16. Sex and Marriage
    17. Taking Photos
  13. Chapter 5 Practicalities
    1. Touchdown
    2. Fixer
    3. Corruption and the Law
    4. Home
    5. Toilets
    6. Servants
    7. Utilities and Services
    8. Schools
    9. Books
    10. Money
    11. Shopping
    12. Transport
    13. Death and Birth in Laos
    14. Legal Advice
  14. Chapter 6 Eating in Laos
    1. Lao Food
    2. Lao Restaurants
    3. Going Out to Eat
    4. Pa Dek
    5. Fish
    6. Meals
    7. Seven for Heaven: Popular and Traditional Dishes
    8. Drinking Alcohol
    9. Eating Habits
  15. Chapter 7 Enjoying the Culture
    1. Ceremonies and Festivals
    2. Calender
    3. Life-cycle Ceremonies
    4. Games Lao Play
    5. The Arts
  16. Chapter 8 Learning Lao
    1. Starting Up and Taking Off
    2. Lao Dialects
    3. Culture Through Language
    4. Characteristics of the Language
    5. Freedom of Expression
  17. Chapter 9 Lao Business
    1. The Background
    2. Industries
    3. Foreign Companies
    4. Lao Working in Thailand
    5. Working with Lao
    6. The Work Ethic
  18. Chapter 10 Fast Facts at Your Fingertips
    1. System of Government
  19. Culture Quiz
  20. Do’s and Don’ts
  21. Glossary
  22. Resource Guide
  23. Further Reading
  24. About the Author
  25. Index