Social Customs Etiquette in Laos

In Southeast Asia, Laos are the most hospitable. Every day during your visit to Laos, you will be invited to drink beer, chat, eat in the countryside or hold a traditional welcome ceremony for you. If you are from Thailand or Vietnam, you will feel it like a peaceful harbor in Laos. There is no such problem as noise and pollution in Laos like neighboring countries. Tourists should respect Lao traditions. Indeed, Laos life is no better than the Thai or American way of life; there is no market in Vientiane, let alone in the countryside.

The general characteristics of Lao people’s social customs can be summarized in these sentences: Lao people are very friendly and treat people with a sincere attitude; they use the traditional “tethered line” to welcome guests and express their affection; they are used to drinking altar wine with guests, meaning that we are not divided; and here most people believe in Buddhism.

Laotians are taboo about others touching their heads. The head is considered the most sacred part, and no one can invade it at will. They taboo passing things or food with their left hand. The left hand is considered dirty and cheap, and the use of the left hand is actually an insult to humans.

Lao people usually have a simple diet, usually they eat glutinous rice and fresh fish. They kill pigs and sheep every New Year. The Kazakh people like to eat palm ravioli as their main food, which is a cake that is made of palm flour and baked on hot stones. Many people see it as a precious food. They have a habit of chewing betel nuts and smoking. Even women are no exception. They are happy to taste Chinese dishes. They generally do not use forks and chopsticks for their meals, but are accustomed to grabbing rice with their hands.

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