Xung Xin Xai: The Local Traditions of Laos
Niphasone Souphom

Lao Heritage Foundation


Generally, traditional Southeast Asian literatures are heavily influenced by Indian culture and ideas. Southeast Asian literatures share similar structure, plot, and core religious values with the Indian epic of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Though Lao traditional literature may share these elements, it also weaves in many traditional and cultural components which distinguish the literature as Lao.

This paper will use Xung Xin Xai as a way to analyze how Lao traditional literature reflects the culture and tradition of Laos. The paper will examine Lao traditional culture in the areas of etiquette, religion, marriage rites, ceremonies, celebrations, and personal relations within the family. Upon close inspection, one will find that these traditional customs continue to be very prominent in the lives of the Lao people today.