Shangri-La Beneath Hammer and Sickle

“Europeans who come to live here take ondistinctive mannerisms very soon – their voicesmollify and they become softer and more discreetin expressing themselves!” – Norman Lewissaid in his book “A Dragon Apparent: Travels inCambodia, Laos and Vietnam” which he wroteduring his travels in Indochina in 1952 just beforethe Indochina wars. Indeed, the first thing thatyou notice (and hear) is the calmness and ‘lowvolume’ of voices of the Lao people, unlike themuch louder and more expressive Thai andVietnamese people. This softness of expressionbecomes even more pronounced when thepeople of Laos ‘clash’ with noisy nations like ours…


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