Manivanh Simmalavong, editor and publisher of the just released Laotian-Canadian magazine, Pheuane Keo, talked to VOA about her publication. Her idea of publishing a Lao magazine came way before TV-LaoBC, Canada. Manivanh came to Canada 12 years ago and has been active in the Laotian-Canadian community in the Toronto area ever since. She produced Lao Radio for over seven years, then TV-LaoBC, Canada, and now the magazine.
"I was very interested in publishing a magazine prior than doing the TV-LaoBC of Canada. I help out a lot in the Laotian Canadian community's events and functions and I see and feel that there's a gap - something missing here. I want to be a part of this creation and bridge the generation gap." Manivanh explains.
The first issue of Pheuane Keo magazine was launched
in March 2009. Manivanh says that at the beginning stage, there will be two
issues annually and after that, perhaps once every three months or
monthly…depending on readers' demands. The concept of the magazine is to
capture and document the Laotian Diaspora's stories and activities since they
left their home land in 1975.
The idea of making a magazine came to Manivanh when she overheard people saying that many Laotians are not interested in reading. She said, "They just don't read. So, why not make them read, teach them how to read, especially the young Laotians who study Lao every Sunday in the Lao temple. I am sure they would love to know what I am writing in this magazine and that's how the Pheuane Keo magazine came about."
Manivanh continues to explain to VOA that "There are many issues that I want to cover, including the unknown journey of these Laotians once they are settled in the foreign land they now call HOME. A column was created especially for members of the younger generation for being a citizen of the country of their birth and yet knowing where their roots trace back to and what they think of their heritage and their parents' home land. There will also be plenty of stories about health and beauty issues."
Listen to our audio files for further details of Manivanh's interview with VOA.