Coloradoans have held their annual Chinese-style boat racing for the past six years. The Laotian American community of Denver has competed in the Colorado Dragon Boat Race Festival for the past five years, reaching the final round every year, and winning first place in the last two years.
Mr. Nome Xaynorath of Wat Lao Sidaounaram
of Denver talks to VOA about his community’s participation and involvement in the festival, saying “Laos has had a long history of cultural, traditional festivals that, till these days we continue to preserve, maintain, and keep alive. Boat Racing Festival in one of them.
That is our objective in participating in the Denver Dragon Boat Race. This is also a showcase of our beautiful tradition that we all treasure, and it can all be shared with others to learn about Lao culture and traditions.”
The Laotian adult team has been champ for two consecutive years, while the youth team manages to hold on to the championship it has captured and maintained since it entered the competition three years ago.
Mr. Nome says, “It is hard to find members
of the younger generation who grew up in the United States and still able to row a boat like we did in the old days. They lack experience, and that means we have to train them for the next competition.”
Mr. Nome Xaynorath worries about maintaining the championship for many more years to come. He told VOA that he would work hard and try to recruit more Laotian-American from all over the United States to participate and join the team.
Listen to our audio report for more details.