Local Wisdom “Kong-Kalam” : Lao Traditions in Luang Prabang

Title : Local Wisdom “Kong-Kalam” : Lao Traditions in Luang Prabang
Author : Nawa Wongprom, Praphakorn Kaewwanna, Phursamongkhon Chunlapoon, Waraporn Khayaiphol, Yommana Syhakhang, Bounxian Phetlumphun
Year : 2557
Type : Journal
Abstract : This research aimed to study the local wisdom regarding Kong, or customs, and Kalam, or taboos, of local residents in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, and to develop the information and media to disseminate the local wisdom. Qualitative research was conducted with 25 elders and local experts obtained by purposive sampling. The instruments used for this study were in-depth interviews, group discussions, participant and non-participant observations. Descriptive content analysis was then utilized for data analysis. The results indicated that the local wisdom regarding customs and taboos of local residents in Luang Prabang had been transmitted from their ancestors without clear sources. It was generally passed on through word of mouth, practices, and printed records. Therefore, the traditions had been learned and passed on from generation to generation mostly through informal training and role modelling. The majority of Luang Prabang residents could still follow the traditional Kong Sib Si, or the fourteen rules of conduct, while the Kalam practices had declined; depending on people’s wish to do so individually, in their families and communities. The contents of customs consisted of suggested rules for routine practices related to Buddhism starting from early morning till late at night. The taboo contents comprised things that people should not do from birth till death. The collection of customs and taboos was mainly recorded via memorization, but note-taking and publishing were rare. As a result, the guidelines for preserving the local wisdom were proposed, including producing books, posters, television media, and computer media. Another guideline was by integrating the traditions in the primary and secondary school curricula. Moreover, it was essential to promote the participation of educational institutes and government institutions to enhance the preservation of the local wisdom: customs and taboos, with children, youths, tourists, and general public by creating media and knowledge dissemination activities. The information and media to disseminate the local wisdom regarding customs and taboos of local residents in Luang Prabang could be created in two forms: a printed form as a book and an electronic form,a multi-media entitled “Kong: the Loa Ways of Luang Prabang People”, and “Kalam: the Loa Ways of Luang Prabang People”.
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