In the old days, Lao believed writing down stories was one way of making merit. Palm leaf manuscripts were preserved in families as treasures. One part of me has lately pondered how much the Lao process of preserving our folktales has become much like the living books of Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451, who memorized the entire book and then let the copy be destroyed, but the story lived on.
How interesting it would be to see a return to those values, or a new iteration of the concept, wherein we saw a direct connection between building merit and telling our stories. I think I'll bring this up more often as we ramp up towards the Lao American Writers Summit in 2014, funders willing.