LAOS Genres and Themes Genres Religious Literature • Theravada Buddhist Canonical Texts • short texts aimed at explaining the practical advantages of pious deeds • texts ediying lessons regarding the gods, the saints, and the sites containing relics of the buddha Secular texts - much richer thatn religious texts • popular and classical lietrature are well known at all levels of society although authors names are unknown and texts are undated and undatable • 1. Stories, legends and poem of oral tradition are satirical in tone • Stories called sysva have strong moral and education content • 3. Tales that comment on the naivety of the peasantry, the greediness of the wealthy and the demands of the royalty • 4. Judicial stories which include commentaries on ancient Lao codes e.g Tales of Nantantai - a lso version of the Indian Pancatantra • 5. Historical Legends - e.g. Hostory of Khun Purom which recount the legendary migration of the Tai Peoples from Chinca to Luang Prabang • 6. Poetry that are predominantly Buddhist and inspired to the licentious • 7. Classical Lao Literature - written in prose and verse form, lenghty and not original. Themes include handsome priest, the heroin is a beautiful princess and the antagonist a demon. There is also a Lao version of the Ramayana • 8. Political Writings - 1960’s as the beginning of Modern Literature – Pro-western Regime vs Socialist Regime – Modern Literature - soap opera novels, humorous stories, other poorly written works of social criticizm that featured dishonest officials and scheming politicians Since 1975 - the only modern Lao Literature appears to consists of work urging the consolidation of socialism and emphasizing ideology and internationalism. TAI Minorities Tai minorities of Laos has very rich literature preserved in manuscripts from. • Magical and astrological texts • Juridical texts that are divided into small chapters describing specific cases and presenting appropriate decision • Tai Pharmaceutical Texts dealing with treatment of certain illness by medicianl plants and other preparations. Additional texts of this sort list supernatural origins of illnessed and give remedies. • Rich Religious Literature include rituals, prayers, texts written in praise of spirits • Popular and classical texts include epics, stories, legends and cosmographical works. These works present visions of the creation of the worlds proper to each particual group.
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