My country is Laos. It is a small, poor country in Southeast Asia. The population is about five million. It is 91,400 square miles and the officail language is Lao but french and english is only spoken for business
purposes mainly. The currency is Kip.
Human beings began living in the present territory of Laos more than 10,000 years ago. Stone tools and skulls were discovered in the Huaphan and Luang Prabang provinces. They did carbon dating on these artifacts and test say there around 10,000 years old. The giant jars in Xieng Khouang province and stone columns in Huaphan province date from the neolithic period. Humans in Laos used iron for their tools as early as the last century B.C.
Community grouping of people slowly formed into townships between the fourth and eight century A.D. on both sides of the Mekong River and along its tributaries. In 1349-1357, a movement emerged under the command of King Fa Ngoum, a national hero, to group the townships into a unified Lan Xang Kingdom, the capital of which stood at Xiengdong Xiengthong, now known as Luang Prabang. From then on, the Kingdom of Lan xang entered into an era of national defence and construction under King Fa Ngoum who first introduced Hinayana Buddhism from the Khmer Kingdom into Laos, which is still the religion professed by the majority of Lao people. From 1479 to 1570, the Lao people were forced to defend the country against foreign aggressors.
Under the rule of King Setthathirath, the capital was moved from Xiengdong Xiengthong to Vientiane in 1560. A moat was built to protect the new capital whose name means the rampart if sandalwood. King Setthathirath built a shrine to house the Phra Kaeo, the Emerald Buddha. He also erected the Luang Stupa, a venerated religious shrine which is now the symbol of the Lao nation.
In the seventeenth century, under the reign of King Souliyavongsa, the Kingdom entered its most brilliant era. It was respected by neighbouring countries... [continues]
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