With this list of shapes and objects in Lao, you will be able to orientate yourself around the land of a million elephants. It is easy to forget just how much we use shapes and objects when we're describing something, and description is particularly important if you ever come to do an exam in Lao where one of the tasks is to describe a picture. Here are some basics: 'Circle' vong ວົງ, 'Square' hiabhony ຮຽບຮ້ອຍ, 'Triangle' sam riam ສາມຫຼ່ຽມ, and 'Rectangle' si riam ສີ່ຫຼ່ຽມ. Ready to learn more? Keep reading!
|Circular Objects||vadthu vong||ວັດຖຸວົງ|
|Square Objects||vadthu si liam||ວັດຖຸສີ່ຫລ່ຽມ|
|Triangle objects||vadthu sam riam||ວັດຖຸສາມຫຼ່ຽມ|
|Rectangle Objects||vadthu si liam||ວັດຖຸສີ່ຫລ່ຽມ|
|Playing card||rin bad||ຫຼີ້ນບັດ|
With its distinctly triangular roof, Wat Xieng Thong is perhaps Laos' most famous building. It translates to 'Temple of the Golden City which gives you an idea of just how beautiful the city of Luang Phrabang is.
The wat (temple) was constructed in 1559 under the direction of King Setthathirath, whose kingdom is where Laos' moniker 'the land of a million elephants' comes from. It is a little ironic then that after completing such a magnificent building, the King moved his capital from Luang Phrabang to Vientiane. It is purported the King wasn't fond of the mountainous land around the city. So now, the capital has been located in Vientiane since the sixteenth century.
To understand why the building is the shape it is, it's important to generally understand Lao buildings' architectural styles and features.
The shrine hall of a temple is called a 'sim'. The sim at Wat Xieng Thong has nine triangular cascading roofs. They are marvelous to behold and rival the roofs of any European church.
Another triangular type of ornamentation on the roof is called dok so fa. They are striking gold-tipped structures that look a little bit like European weather vanes but far more decorative.
The stupa is a pyramid with a square base gradually tapers into a triangular point. Wat Xieng Thong has a building with a reclining buddha. It was so beautiful that it was taken by France and displayed during the Paris exhibition of 1931. It was returned to Laos in 1964.
The inside of many Buddhist temples has to be seen to be believed. They are often decorated with mythological scenes and famous battle scenes. On the ceilings are dharma chakras or dharma wheels.
The dharma wheel is a circle; however, it is split into eight segments representing the 'right' way of living. The wheel's spokes (the eightfold path) are view, resolve, speech, actions, occupation, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.
Outside you will find many sculptural creations of amazing shapes and sizes indicative of Laotian art. The most famous sculpture in Laos is the Phra Bang. Tradition maintains that many temples have these statues of gold buddhas. You will also see many amazing examples of wood carving.
Wat Xieng Thong remains in fabulous condition, considering it is 500 years old. It has undergone many restorations over the years. One of the most infamous was in 1928 when King Sisanvong demanded that the French share in the cost of fixing up the temple. Its more recent renovation was in 2012, which involved a thorough cleaning, repainting, and restoration of broken tiles.
As of 2022, the entrance fee is 20,000 kip which is about $1.75.
The Lao National Cultural Hall in Vientiane was built in 2000 to mark the millennium. It is owned by the government and used largely for governmental purposes. It was built with money provided by the Chinese government, which has attempted to extend its influence in the region in recent years. There is both a Chinese flag and a Lao flag flying from the front of the building.
The building has a square base with a cascading triangular roof modeled after a wat's design. The building has a 1500 seat main room as well as conference rooms and places to exhibit art. Unfortunately, the building isn't open to the general public. The events held there are mainly governmental functions where foreign delegates are welcomed. The biggest event undoubtedly was when Barack Obama visited in 2016 for the ASEAN summit.
The native speaker's usage of Lao is very high. By that, we mean that there isn't a great level of English speaking, so it's important to learn Lao if you want to communicate with locals.
Ling is the best option for learning Lao online. Probably the thing that Ling does the best is making that 'strange looking script' decipherable. We have practice writing in the Lao alphabet, which is critical for reading.
There is also help with Lao tonal expression practice to help with your actual form pronunciation, and you can put your newfound pronunciation skills into use by practicing with our chatbot.
Identifying different shapes with our flashcard images is just beginning your journey. There are 100s of different units.