Chinese Opera is an art and no doubt a cultural treasure of China, after its’ nearly 200 years development. The repertoire of Peking opera includes over 1400 works which are based on Chinese history, folklore and increasingly contemporary life.

A great foreign film featuring a story from Peking Opera is  ”Farewell My Concubine” a 1993 film by Chen Kaige starring Gong Li and Leslie Chung, I can’t stress how beautifully filmed the movie is as the cinematography and storyline are just as superb. Farewell My Concubine explores the effect of China’s political turmoil during the mid-20th century on the lives of individuals, families, and groups, in this case, two stars in a Peking Opera troupe and the woman who comes between them.

heartoflaos

bakaneeds asked:

"You know they always give out free stuff at temples" made me laugh ^^ it's true. But you see, So many Lao text are written with Lao and Lanna. I think you kinda misunderstood me (sorry if I sound arrogant). I want to know why Lao people use Lanna. Because I know Lanna people natively use just กำเมือง (Lanna script). Laos has their own rich script yet, so many text are written with the script from the relatives to the west. why is this? particularly sutras for chanting. Sorry for the burden.

drunkasianhistory answered:

Oh! Okay, sorry! Now I understand your question:

image

Who do some Lao people use Lanna scripts in Buddhist scriptures?

Lanna script, also known as the “Tham” alphabet/script (Lao Tham = Old Lao) derived from the Pali word “Dhamma”. The Tham alphabet were used particularly for religious and academic writing text in the Pali language on Buddhist palm leaves, manuscripts and books in Laos.

Why? Because the Tham alphabet was better suited for pronouncing the Pali consonants & vowels than the Lao alphabet.

Traditionally, only secular literature was written with the now standard Lao alphabet that was slowly standardized in the 14th century during the Lanxang Kingdom.

And because Theravada Buddhism came from the ancient Pali & Sanskrit people from India, the Tham alphabet was best used and suited to fully retain the original Pali Buddhist sutras and chanting, without changing the pronunciation or losing the full meaning. Very much like the Quran, it has been unchanged for thousands of years, and is refused to be translated into other languages, because it can change the meaning of the religious text.

Not only was it just used for Buddhist writing, but the Tham writing were used for scholarly records, like medicinal usages, poetry, scientific researches and how to make love potions in Laos.

heartoflaos:

And an added bonus of info: The Lan Xang kingdom (Ancestor of Laos-) held a special and close relationship with the kingdom of Lanna from the 13th century until the 18th century. The kingdoms were trading partners (as the two states came into a union against the threat of the Burmese and Siamese, as Lan Xang as the protector-) and not only actively traded fabrics, spices, etc. but also Buddhist folklore stories and poetry preserved in palm manuscripts.

Even after the Burmese invaded Lanna kingdom and the ties between Lanna and Lan Xang was cut, Lanna refugees (mainly nobles and even literature masters-) fled to Lan Xang (notably Luang Prabang), where they continue their cultural exchange.

That is why the Lanna and Lao language is nearly identical in ways and why sometimes (as seen in the example above-) “borrow” each other’s languages / dialect. 

I would recommend you “Paths of Conflagration: 50 years of Diplomacy & Warfare in Laos, Thailand, & Vietnam" by Mayoury and Pheuiphahn Ngaosyvathn if you want to find out more. c: (Yaaay, Lao historians!) 

heartoflaos
fuckyeahapihistory:

Group of Lao praying around a floral centerpiece (pha kwan), part of a Buddhist baci ceremony. Minneapolis Photograph Collection 1981.
Briefly the Baci or su kwan, which means “calling of the soul,”is a ceremony to celebrate a special event, whether a marriage, a homecoming, a welcome, a birth, or one of the annual festivals. A mother is given a baci after she has recovered form a birth, the sick are given bacis to facilitate a cure, officials are honored by bacis, and novice monks are wished luck with a baci before entering the temple. The Baci ceremony can take place any day of the week and all year long, preferably before noon or before sunset. 

fuckyeahapihistory:

Group of Lao praying around a floral centerpiece (pha kwan), part of a Buddhist baci ceremony. Minneapolis Photograph Collection 1981.

Briefly the Baci or su kwan, which means “calling of the soul,”is a ceremony to celebrate a special event, whether a marriage, a homecoming, a welcome, a birth, or one of the annual festivals. A mother is given a baci after she has recovered form a birth, the sick are given bacis to facilitate a cure, officials are honored by bacis, and novice monks are wished luck with a baci before entering the temple. The Baci ceremony can take place any day of the week and all year long, preferably before noon or before sunset. 

heartoflaos

heartoflaos:

Okay, here’s the thing. Everingham has his own opinion of whether or not “Lao” is used as a derogatory term. (And yeah, that’s his own. It’s not mine, it’s his. I would like to let you guys see a different point of view.)

"Lao" is used as a derogatory term when Laotian immigrants and refugees…

The Plain of Jars in Laos are hundreds of giant stone jars scattered across the Xieng Khouang plains. Excavation by numerous archaeologists have supported the conclusion that these were funeral megaliths due to the human remains, burial goods and ceramics found in association with the stone jars.  There are many local legends telling of their origins from giants who made them to a huge drinking party that was held on the plain after a victory, and these jars held their wine. The Plain of Jars are dated to the Iron Age (500 BCE to 500 CE) and represents a crucial site for the development of the SE Asia civilizations.