Laotian-Americans in San Diego celebrate Lao New Year every year in order to maintain and preserve the harmonious culture and traditions of their homeland for the next generations. This year’s theme, “Our Children-Our Future,” best reflects the objective of the annual celebrations, which is to bring younger generation together to learn more about their history, rich and beautiful culture and to identify that they really are.
Laotian refugees have migrated to San Diego since the mid 70’s. Many of these refugees remained in San Diego due to its nice weather that is quite similar to their homeland. More than twenty-thousand Laotians currently make San Diego their home. They have contributed so much to this diverse community, economically and socially, particularly in the Diamond neighborhood, Southeast of San Diego. To show San Diego’s appreciation of the Lao-Americans’ contributions, the Jacobs Community Center For Neighborhood Innovation, this year provided a field for Laotian Cultural Center to celebrate its New Year in Market Creek Plaza.
In addition, the center provided funding for the creation of a Tapestry Tile Walkway of Laotian arts and crafts displaying Lao traditional skirt patterns as a memorial to honor the Lao-Ameriacan community in San Diego. Mr. Roque Barros of the Jacobs Family Foundation said in his speech dedicating the Walkway: “On behalf of the Jacobs Community Center For Neighborhood Innovation, it’s an honor and privilege to have created this Tapestry of Lao arts and crafts along with a plague to the Laotian Community for their residency and their contributions of a great culture and traditions.We thank you for our great friendship and hope that you will continue to share this wonderful culture with us.”
Ms. Khamphet Somphonphakdy, president of Laotian Cultural Center of San Diego tells VOA, “ Being a president of Lao Cultural Center, also being a president of Laotian Heritage Foundation and being a Laotian Woman, I am very proud and honored to have an opportunity to represent the Laotian community and share its unique culture and traditions to San Diegans, especially the Tapestry of Laotian arts pattern that have made Laotians a part of San Diego.”
Listen to our detailed report by clicking on our audio files above.