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CULTURAL VISIT IN OUDOMXAY
 
Akha
Akha are the fourth biggest ethnic group in Oudomxay and form part of the Lao Soung like the Hmong people. Akha immigrated from the Tibetan Plateau, Northwest of Oudomxay, several hundred years ago. Their language is part of the  Tibeto-Burmese linguistic family. Their villages are situated in remote areas. However, coming for example to Oudomxay town market, Akha women are easily recognizable by their traditional hat, covered with coins representing the wealth of the household.
   
Khmu
Khmu from the biggest ethnic group in Oudomxay province, beeing part of the Lao Thoeng, the Upland Lao. They are considered as the "guardians of the land" and have settled in all Northern provinces of Laos. Living in the mountains, dry-rice cultivation and slash-and-burn techniques characterize their traditional economic system.
   


Lao Loum
Lao Loum means literally translated "lowland Lao" and encompasses inhabitants of the river valleys and lowlands of Lao PDR, thereby representing around seventy percent of Lao population. They speak the official Lao language. Traditionally their income has been generated by wet-rice cultivation.

Furthermore, the areas they are living in do affect housing construction. Lao Loum villages are characterized by wooden posts on which houses are raised to prevent the yearly floodings to destroy people's homes.

Furthermore this technique helps to cool houses as well as they offer space to keep livestock under the houses.
 Lao Loum mostly are Theravada Buddhists, shown by several Wat throughout the country. In Oudomxay town there are two Wat. In Muang La, there is located the Sing Kham Temple, a pilgrimage destination for people of whole Southeast Asia. However, traditional beliefs are a key cornerstone for Lao Loum's daily lifes.
   
Hmong 
Hmong is a ethnic group in Oudomxay the local name is ''Lao Soung'' it is mean "Lao" the people who live in Laos and "Soung" who live in the high land or in the mouantain.  They came to the area of Lao PDR around 350 years ago after they lived several thousand years in the region of Southern China. Today, around 450,000 Hmongs are located in the mountainous areas of Northern Laos. They generate their income mainly through dry-rice cultivation and slash-and-burn techniques. Their traditional beliefs are strongly related to Animism and Shamanism. In Oudomxay they are the second biggest ethnic group after Khmu people.
   
Buddhism
Laos is regarded as a Buddhist country. About 60% of Lao people-above all Lao Loum-practice Theravada Buddhism. It was introduced around the 14th century to the former reign of Muang Sawa with today's Luang Prabang as its capital. As several Wats in Oudomxay and around the country highlight, Buddhism is still practiced by many people. Theravada Buddhism, established around 2500 years ago, is furthermore dominant in neighbouring Cambodia, Thailand and Burma. It uses Pali as is scriptual language and is regarded as the oldest Buddhist school still spread. Therefore it is considered as a quite conservative form of Buddhism, based on the Pali Canon and its commentaries. Muang La is a key Buddhist pilgrimage destination in Oudomxay. Here you can find the intriguing Pra Xack Kham Temple with its sacred Buddha image. Along the legend, the 400 years old statue has many supernatural powers. It is called Saymoungkhoune Rattana Stupa. It is widely worshipped among the faithful local and regional Buddhists.
   




Spirit Cults
Next to Buddhism, traditional beliefs influence people's life. These beliefs predate Buddhism. For ethnic groups in the mountainous North, they are even more influential, even tough Buddhism and traditional beliefs coexist quite free of conflict. You will see traditional beliefs above all in two moments: many Lao homes are guarded by "spirit houses" where people worship the spirits by offering food. However, a general account can not be made as traditions and beliefs differ from ethnic group to ethnic group. 
Nonetheless, there exists a common Lao ritual, which is widely practised throughout the country: the Baci. The baci ceremony will be done for any bigger change in people's life, that can be a wedding as well as the start of a big journey or the arrival of long absent guests. After a long Buddhist mantra, people tie white threads around the wrists of their opposite by saying wishes. Thereby they free the person from bad luck, which is replaced by good luck. The ceremony is closed by a common meal which can become a friendly party. If you take part in a baci and people tie threads around your wrists, you are supposed to keep them on your arms for three days before you untie them.


Oudomxay Museum
Oudomxay museum is located on top of Phou Sebey in Ban Cheang of Oudomxay town. The name of mountain comes from the French army camp that was situated there. The French army called the mountain “CB.”-the French pronunciation of this abbreviation future on the transferred  into today’s Lao name “SEBEY”
On the top of Phou Sebey and around the museum you can have a wonderful view on the town center of Oudomxay. To best enjoy the view come in the morning when the sun in still low-you may watch the town center waking up and enjoy the morning light as it starts caressing the roofs before the day becomes too hot.
   
| ATTAPEU | BOKEO | BOLIKHAMXAY | CHAMPASACK | HOUAPHANH | KHAMMOUANE | LUANG NAMTHA | LUANG PRABANG | OUDOMXAY | PHONGSALY |
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SALAVANH | SAVANNAKHET | SAYABOULY | SEKONG | VIENTIANE | VIENTIANE CAPITAL | XIENG KHOUANG
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