The Second International Conference on Lao Studies, held at Arizona State University on May 3-6, drew more than 200 participants from around the globe. The conference was an open arena for scholars and experts on Laos to gather, exchange ideas, and discuss various aspects of Lao Studies.
Dr. Vinya Saysamouth, director and founder of the Center for Lao Studies told VOA that: “The Center for Lao Studies has had and will play a critical role in the future in the development and promotion of Lao Studies as an academic field of discipline in the United States, in Laos and throughout the world. I am very happy to see a great turn out on this conference. We had the Laotian-American Community of Greater Phoenix to help organize and host this conference along with Arizona State U. Many other organizations of Laotian-Americans through out United States also participated, such as the Laotian American National Alliance, the Legacy of War, the Lao Heritage Foundation and the Royal Lao Dance Troup of Tennessee.” This conference is not only an academic learning about Laos, but also a showcase of Laotian culture and traditions.
The Second International Conference on Laos Studies at Tempe, Arizona, was a stepping-stone for the Center for Lao Studies to create awareness for all audience who are interested in Lao subjects. The main goal of the Lao Studies Conference is to cover and focus on all aspects of Laos, to promote a better understanding of the country and to expand knowledge on Lao issues.
An expert on Lao language from the Lao PDR, Dr. Boualy Paphaphat, vice president of the National Lao University, was an observer at the conference. He told VOA that… “I am very honored and delighted to participate in this conference. I’m here to learn more about the organization and I’ll bring the lesson that I learned from this Center for Lao Studies to the director of National University, so that we can be ready to host the next conference in the future.”
Dr. Yaowalak Apichatvullop, dean of the Sociology Department of Thailand’s Khone Kaen University, expressed her sincere appreciation for the selection of her university to be the venue for the third International Conference on Lao Studies: “I am very honored that the Center for Lao Studies made a decision to choose Khon Kaen University to host the third conference. I’ve seen how this organization works from the first and the second conferences, and am impressed. We will do our best to maintain the supreme quality of this graceful tradition and harmonious Lao culture. This will be a great opportunity for the Lao diaspora to emerge and stay close to the Lao people in Laos.”
Listen to our audio file for more details.