A sweet and endearing collection of moral tales from Laos. Each story plays on an underlying virtue; compassion, respect, simplicity, working the land and being a steward of nature.
The stories are written in a simple forthright manner often calling on the author’s own memories. Lao culture is presented in a vitrine to showcase how things should be and proving in the simplicity of minor details how they are.
Goodness and virtue are the thoughts that pervade Bounyavong’s writing and honestly the hominess of his descriptions and honesty of the characters dialogue are what kept me reading.
I was happy to find this book, though it took several weeks to arrive, it allowed me a glimpse into Lao life and culture. I visited the country once years ago and can confirm the “sleepiness” of its capital city. I enjoyed my time there after the hustle and bustle of larger cities in the neighbouring countries. Its streets were easier to navigate and most of them led to beautifully adorned pagodas. Vientiane was full of fragrant trees and delicious foods with people eager to please and exchange.
Those same size feelings and sentiments come across the pages well. It was also fun to have a bilingual edition of the book! While I know not a word of the language I can hear the music of the people speaking just looking at the Lao text.
It really does look like music, and to hear it spoken is a pleasure.
I enjoyed it.
Next stop: TBD