Laotians Living In A Western Country
There are more Lao people living in Thailand and western countries than there are in Laos. Lao people who live permanently overseas are mostly populated in America, Canada, Australia and France.
Although there are some Laotians living in other parts of the western world, there's not as many as there are in these four countries.
Laotians living in the mentioned countries arrived as refugees by plane during the communist takeover of Laos in the mid 1970's, while many younger generation of Lao people were born there. Most Lao people spent many months or years in Thailand refugee camps before they had the opportunity to fly overseas to begin a new life after war in Laos.
Many Laotians still continued to leave Laos during the early 1980's, the reason for fleeing Laos was due to domestic political persecution and not because they wanted to escape poverty. Lao people who are still living in Laos today didn't need to leave home and they were not detained by the pathet Lao forces (Lao communist country) because they didn't support or have any military involvement with the former Royal Lao government.
Laotians who arrived to America and Canada are mainly the low-class, dark-skinned and uneducated Lao people, Australia has mainly middle-class light-skinned Laotians and France is populated with the upper-class light-skinned Laotians mostly arriving from northern parts of Laos. Most traditional Lao people are from France and Australia while Lao people in America and Canada tend to be westernised.
There are also many Hmongs (Meo people) who are the ethnic minorities of Laos living as a community in America. The easiest route to freedom for them was to America considering they fought with the side of the American armed forces.
Many Lao people living in a western country have never been back to their homeland since they left for various reasons. Those who have been back usually enjoy themselves and they always want to go back again, often giving away money and old clothes to relatives in Laos. Most poor people living in Laos don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to wear old clothes, nor do they look down on people who give them because they are always in need of clothes. Clothes and shoes from western countries are made from better materials and last longer than the items sold in Laos which are usually fake brands, so local Lao people always appreciate clothing gifts.
Compared to Lao people living in Laos, Lao people from overseas are more free, self-confident, independent, educated, wealthy and successful in their careers. People in Laos are more close and dependent on their family because they can't really survive on their own, so many people continue to live in their parent's house even if they are old enough to live their own life.
Sometimes living in too much free environment can work against Lao people in a foreign country. According to observation, some Lao people especially in America are highschool dropouts who never made it to tertiary education, they just enjoy drinking and partying and Lao parents don't really know how to teach their kids a good example because they themselves are uneducated expatriats who used to raise ducks and chickens during their life in Laos.
Laos will become a better and free country as the years go by when more intelligent and educated Lao people from western countries return to run the country because they know how the world operates.
When local Lao people are scared to do this and that, it means that they are under the control of powerful and influential people.
They are too scared to go out at night because police are guarding the streets, too scared to stay overnight with their girlfriend because Lao law doesn't permit it, too scared to speak ones mind or believe in something in fear of being imprisoned, too scared to accuse someone because the other dude is richer with a higher status, etc. Sure there must be boundaries but this is definately not what Lao society should be like.
We are seeing some improvements in Laos with the current leaders and that should be applauded but more work needs to be done and we will see even more freedom, fresher thinking, new ideas and new agendas so that they are not destructive of people's rights as the new generation of Lao people from America, Canada, Australia and Europe enter Lao politics over the coming years.