Meeting Happy Spirits In Laotian Villages–Quickflight

by bria4123 on November 5, 2012


Exploring villages in the mountains around Luang Prabang gave me some of my favorite experiences in Laos. But I needed energy towards the end of the day.

I saw a crowd in the local schoolyard and ventured inside. Within seconds someone invited me to join the party.

The folks were celebrating a local’s birthday. They offered me a seat by the DJ and poured generous amounts of Beer Lao.

They then invited me to join the dancing.

Everyone moved their arms and hands in graceful sinuous patterns that reminded me of so many Southeast Asian art-forms. So did the music’s tempo. It wasn’t fast or slow–it flowed at an even pace that allowed everyone to easily blend with each other. The beer encouraged that feeling too!

My little travel guitar added even more merriment.

But I finally needed to move on because a driver was waiting for me, and I also wanted to explore the local temple.

The novices invited me to sit with them as quickly as the revelers did, and they asked me to play my guitar. I felt a bit uncomfortable about having a beer-buzz in a monastery, and I hoped my companions couldn’t smell the spuds.

But I quickly stopped thinking of contradictions. Both venues had the same vibe–full of friendly people eager for a good time, within beautiful natural surroundings. The school and the wat were within earshot of each other. All the local people, with their different mindsets, were in harmony with each other and enjoying the profuse flow of colors, sounds and movements in their surroundings. And the folks in both places warmly took me in.

Party on, good spirits!


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