Lamvong Elephants, Muddy Waters, Defense Against COVID19 – This Week in Lao Social Media

Lamvong Elephants, Muddy Waters, Defense Against COVID19 - This Week in Lao Social Media

The Laotian Times brings our readers an updated list of some of the most shared topics in the Lao social media this past week, based on reach and engagement on Facebook.

Khonepapheng Falls

Have you ever seen the beautiful Khonepapheng Falls from up this high? While there isn’t a shortage of gorgeous waterfalls in Laos, this particular one is truly magnificent to look at.

Snake Man

For some incomprehensible reason, a “Falang” (what Lao people call foreigners, typically Caucasian ones) basking in a pile of snakes of varying sizes prompted the wonder and curiosity of over half a million people on social media.

Water Bill Mystery

Many users in Vientiane took a look at their water bills and noticed something strange. The amounts for December 2019 and January 2020 were exactly the same. Also, many people complained that they had incurred some debt that they hadn’t paid.

A notice issued several months ago by the water company clears up the issue. The notice indicated that the company was implementing a new system of invoicing whereby company staff would take meter readings for the next billing cycle at the same time as sending the bill (now instantaneously printed on a new smaller bill by portable machine, replacing the old A4 blue colored paper bill) for the previous cycle. The company did not send staff to take meter readings for the month of December, opting instead to skip that month and have users pay for the months of December and January lumped into a single price then divided evenly among two months (hence the exact same prices).

The monthly bills will return to normal upon the next billing cycle.

Notice Draws Attention to Law

The Vientiane Urban Development Authority issued a notice last week to remind vehicle owners not to park on footpaths (sidewalks). The notice stated that those caught violating the terms of the notice would face large fines.

Some netizens pondered why a notice needed to be issued regarding an offense that is already against the law.

The Clouding of the Pamom Stream

If anyone remembers driving to Vang Vieng, you will notice there is an area where you can buy dried fish on the street. This is the area where the Pamom stream is located. A picture appears to show that the once-clear streams have changed color and become muddled. Some commenters believed it to be the work of a nearby construction site that could be dumping chemical byproducts into the river.

One memorable caption reads: “Our beloved¬†Pamom stream has now turned into a sea of soymilk.”

Elephant Dance

The clip of elephants performing the traditional lamvong dance has gone tremendously viral, reaching half a million people. The sight of both small and large elephants nodding their heads while dancing to a lamvong tune and rythym was quite uncommon to the ordinary person, a fact that contributed to the enormous popularity of the video.

Facts About How Long COVID-19 Germs Can Survive

COVID-19 germs can survive for only 5 minutes in mucus, saliva; 7-8 hours on doorknobs and floors; 24-48 hours on flat surface tables; 4 days in water; 8-12 days in cloth and tissue; and 1 month in the refrigerator at a temperature below 4 degrees celsius.

Therefore, it is recommended that people wash their hands often, enjoy a communal dinner where the main dishes should be hot and shared using central utensils, and wear face masks in crowded areas.

Government Considers Postponing the Xieng Kouang Games

In keeping with the guidelines set by the WHO on how to properly contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has issued a strong recommendation to the Politiburo of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party to consider postponing large-scale concerts and events. These events include the 11th National Games set to be hosted in Xieng Kouang, the celebration of the recognition of the Plain of Jars as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and other foreign summits.

Talking Trash

In another viral video, Laos’ famous net idol, Falang Seu Somchan, showed the aftermath of the Elephant Festival in Sayaboury, which was unquestionably a wasteland of plastic garbage. He remarked that people were asking the wrong question, which was “why is there no one to pick up the trash?” He argues that the right question should be, “why are people dropping the trash to begin with?” This seemed to hit a nerve on Lao social media as commenters delighted in his painfully obvious but cogent argument. Many agreed with his diagnosis that this was not an administrative fault and that it was behavioral.