Bangladesh art, culture week in Bangkok

“Bangladesh art, culture week in Bangkok”

via “Prothom Alo”

Shakila Jafar

The first-ever ‘Bangladesh Art and Culture Week 2016’ began in Bangkok on Tuesday evening.

Bangladesh ambassador to Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem inaugurated the event at Thailand’s most prestigious art gallery, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, said a press release on Wednesday.

“We have arranged the Bangladesh Art and Culture Week to showcase Bangladesh’s art and culture to the Thai people with a view to portraying a progressive, liberal and culturally vibrant image of Bangladesh and of its people to Thailand, its elites and its common people,” Ambassador Tasneem said.

This is the first Bangladesh art and culture week in Bangladesh’s 44 years of diplomatic relations with Thailand. Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali has issued a good will message on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the art works produced in the joint art camp by nine eminent Bangladesh artists and nine senior Thai artists will be inaugurated in an art exhibition on 29 March at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre by Thailand Culture Minister Vira Rajpoj Chanarat.

The ‘Art and Culture Week’ will also include a colorful cultural programme by prominent music and dance artists from Bangladesh at the prestigious Royal Wangna Theatre in Bangkok on 26 March, on the occasion of the 45th Independence Day of Bangladesh.


Khon Masked Dance – Thailand

Hmong traveling exhibit celebrates 40 years after Laos

“Hmong traveling exhibit celebrates 40 years after Laos”

by Stephen Magagnini via “The Sacramento Bee

From left, Houa Yang,Ker Cha and Brandon Xiong look at historical photographs of the CIA’s secret war in Southeast Asia during a preview Sunday of the “Hmong Story 40” project at Will C. Wood Middle School in Sacramento.

Forty years after Laos fell to the communists, decimating the Hmong people and their culture, a new generation of Hmong American leaders has emerged to preserve their heritage before it’s too late.

About 300 Hmong came to Will C. Wood Middle School in south Sacramento on Sunday to preview four new exhibits of photos and artifacts chronicling their recent history: “Hmong in Laos”; “The CIA’s Secret War against the Communists”; “Refugee Camp Life”; and “New Life in California.”

The displays were created by a group of 30 Hmong young professionals, business owners, educators and community leaders throughout California developing a traveling exhibit, the “Hmongstory40” project. They are urging families in Northern and Central California to “be a part of history” by sharing photos, artifacts and memories of their families’ journeys from Laos to Thai refugee camps and on to America.

Wood Assistant Principal See Lor, 42, who was born in Laos, taught for 10 years at Elder Creek Elementary. “Adults would ask the kids, ‘What is Hmong?’ and young Hmong kids had no clue,” she said. “They don’t know why they’re in this country. They don’t know that we’re political refugees forced to come here, not because (we) were dreaming big about America.”

Lor, clad in traditional Hmong silver and embroidery, said the children’s lack of knowledge about their culture and history “touched my heart and I knew I need to help preserve the history and the culture.”

Hmong history dates back more than 3,000 years. The Hmong once had their own kingdom in China, but they were crushed by the Chinese emperors and driven into the mountains of northern Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the exhibit, “From developing a written language, to advancements in textiles, farming and fashion … the Hmong identity was strengthened, an identity that would be resilient and spirited enough to survive a secret war and eventual exile.”

At age 5, Lor fled with her family to Ban Vinai, the largest of the Thai refugee camps, where more than 40,000 Hmong awaited sponsorships to the United States. Lor, who came with her family to the United States and entered fourth grade in 1986, said she has no idea where she was born. “When I asked my mom, she said, ‘Joking Mountain.’”

Over the past 40 years, an estimated 250,000 Hmong refugees have resettled in the United States. “There are about 30,000 Hmong now in Sacramento and 32,000 in Fresno,” said Lar Yang, one of the exhibit organizers. He said he expects more than 100,000 people will view the traveling exhibit.

Hmong throughout California – inbcluding those in Sacramento Sunday — are being asked to contribute stories and memorabilia to the history project. The full exhibit is scheduled to go on display in Fresno during the Hmong New Year in December, in Merced in May 2016 and in Sacramento in the fall of 2016. Details are at

“Thanks for coming today and caring about your history,” project director Lar Yang told the audience Sunday. “Now is the time to write the truth about our history before our elders are gone. . . . .”


Head of Crowned Buddha


16th Century Thailand