Culture & Identity of Laos
The way of life in Laos is fairly simple as most people are rural farmers. Life
for most people in the country revolves around family, community, and work.
Over three quarters of Laos's population work in agriculture, many of who are
farmers. The way of life for these people is heavily dependent on the land and nature.
Many people wake early and are out in the fields with the rising of the sun. Work
is primarily by hand as heavy machinery is rare in the country, although simple
plows and other tools are widely available.
For many Lao lunch is still a fairly long affair, often times undertaken during
the hottest part of the day, which lasts from about noon to about 2:00 pm. Work
then continues for the people until the sun sets. Of course for the farmers the
rains and seasons strongly affect the day's schedule. During busy seasons farming
is a family affair as many people get into the fields to help.
Community is also very important to these farmers as neighbors support each other
in many ways, from helping build a structure to socialization. For these farmers,
numerous crops are grown, but sweet potatoes, corn, coffee, sugarcane, and vegetables
are among the most common.