Download A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between (Short History by Grant Evans PDF

By Grant Evans

This finished and vibrant heritage of Laos is a perfect creation for travelers, company tourists, and scholars. Informative and transportable, it chronicles the heritage of Laos from precedent days, whilst the dynastic states of the zone waxed and waned, to the turmoil of the Vietnam warfare and independence from France. This advisor investigates those key occasions lower than a brand new mild and provides severe demanding situations to the normal perspectives approximately Laos's exciting background.

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Additional resources for A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between (Short History of Asia series, A)

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The outside world had been known by hearsay, especially from travellers who had been to Ayudhya, and the products of this world had made their impression on warfare in the region in the form of musketry and cannon. Products from Lan Xang had also reached the wider world via the trading monopolies of Siam. Ayudhya had long been a cosmopolitan kingdom with agents from all over Asia and Europe, and in the coming years it would develop into one of Asia’s major trading cities. Such economic development and sophistication, however, would elude Lan Xang.

One cultural marker of ‘Lao-ness’, used by Lao themselves and others, is the eating of ‘sticky rice’, a variety especially adapted to the uplands. Sticky rice eaters abound in the areas identified as Lao today, although it is also eaten by most other ethnic groups in this area. Sticky rice travelled with the Tai to the lowlands, where they encountered long grain varieties grown by both the Mon and the Khmer, and farms with mixed varieties evolved. It was only the beginning of rice exports in Ayudhya, and then the later nineteenth-century boom in rice exports from the Chao Phraya plain, that led to a decisive shift away from sticky rice varieties, even in people who had traditionally eaten it.

The appearance of Europeans in this world simply added another group to be incorporated into the status structure of the society. Hierarchies of merit and spiritual power in Buddhist polities did not require that the elite think of themselves as being made of the same stuff as their subjects. Nevertheless, kingdoms such as that of Ayudhya were increasingly encountering merchants and missionaries from across the seas who trafficked in general categories, such as Siamese or Chinese, and in this contrastive way they began to see themselves as such.

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