We would like to thanks Vinya Sysamouth, the Executive Director for the Center of Lao Studies for mentioning our forthcoming book in the September newsletter. It’s interesting that his last name, Syasmouth, is the same as the first name Xaysamouth, a good friend of ours in Vientiane and an upcoming Lao literature and Pali scholar.
The timing is going to work out great because our book will be printed sometime in October and that gives us a good half year to market and promote it here in the states before heading over to Laos and Thailand this summer, especially to attend the 5th International Conference on Lao Studies in Bangkog at Thammasat University in Bangkok on July 8-10.
I remember when Bai and I went to the 3rd ICLS in Khon Kaen in 2010. We were in the midst of researching about Sinxay and discovered Khon Kaen has adopted Sinxay as the new identity of the city in 2005! We skipped out one afternoon to go look at the Sinxay murals as Wat Chaisi in Ban Sawatii, about a half hours drive away. It was such an incredible experience and we ended up coming back to Khon Kaen several times to document the murals at Wat Chaisi, Wat Sanuan Wari and Wat Photaram. One of the highlights was scheduling a Nang Pramo Thai (shadow puppet theatre) performance of Sinxay in village of the leader of the Bong Beng Troupe in Roi Et. Wow! So, one of the many things Sinxay has taught us is how Isan has just as much right to claim Sinxay as its own literature masterpiece, as does Lao. Thankfully there is a Lao-Thai Friendship Committee that has worked to strengthen relationships between the two countries using Sinxay as a saphanthong, golden bridge to build a meaningful alliance.
Obviously, because we’ve devoted so much of our time to researching and writing Sinxay, we too believe Sinxay is transformation and has the power to open minds and hearts. More to come in future blogs.