What languages are spoken in Laos and what languages are taught in school?
Believe it or not, there are 86 different languages spoken in Laos! This is because of the amazing number of different ethnic groups that often have their own languages. Lao is the official language. At the international schools that we visited, all of the teaching is in English. Students also have classes to learn other languages, like Chinese. In most other schools, lessons are taught in Lao.
What do Lao classrooms look like? Do they have whiteboards or blackboards?
What a classroom looks like can be very different in the capital city of Vientiane compared to poorer villages in Laos. We visited a number of international schools in Vientiane, and many of these classrooms have whiteboards.
Do Laotian children wear uniforms to school?
Yes, many Lao children wear uniforms at school, like you can see in the photo above.
What sports do Laotian children play?
Football (what Americans call soccer) is a popular sport in Laos. Other common sports include badminton and petanque (pronounced “peh-tonk”), a game from France that is similar to bocce and involves throwing balls to get them as close as possible to a target. The photo below shows some Lao children playing petanque.
The staple food in Laos is sticky rice, which is often served in a basket. The fun part about eating sticky rice is you get to eat it with your hands! You pick up a clump of rice and roll it into a little ball that you dip in sauce, or use to pick up another kind of food. Another traditional food is called laap, which is like a salad of ground meat or tofu served with lots of spices and herbs. Other typical foods like those shown in this photo of a FISHBIO lunch include grilled or dried fish, soup, and spicy green papaya salad. Lao people like a lot of their food spicy!