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老挝概况      Overview of Laos


老挝是中南半岛唯一的内陆国家,北邻中国,南接柬埔寨,东接越南,西北达缅甸,西南毗连泰国,国土面积23.68万平方公里,人口总数649万(2015年),首都为万象。老挝地势北高南低,西北向东南倾斜,80%为山地和高原,且多被森林覆盖,全国约有20多条流程200公里以上的河流,其中最大的是“黄金水道”湄公河,流经西部约1900公里。气候属热带、亚热带季风气候,每年5月~10月为雨季,11月至次年4月为旱季,年平均气温约26℃,年降水量1250毫米~3750毫米。

      Laos is the only landlocked country on the Indochina Peninsula, bordered by China on the north, Vietnam on the east, Cambodia on the south, Myanmar on the northwest, and Thailand on the southwest, with an area of 236,800 square kilometers, a population of 6.49 million2015), and Vientiane as the capital city. Geographically, the elevation drops from northwest to southeast, with 80% of the territory being mountains and plateaus covered by vegetation. There are about 20 rivers that run over 200 kilometers, the longest being the Mekong River, the “Golden Waterway”, which cuts through the west of the country running approximately 1,900 kilometers. The country features a tropical/subtropical monsoon climate, with a rainy season from May to October and the rest of the year being dry. The annual average temperature is about 26℃ and annual precipitation is 1,250mm to 3,750mm.




老挝有49个民族,通用老挝语,国民多信奉南传上座部佛教,忌讳亵渎圣佛,人们不能对佛像随意评论,不能用手触摸佛像,更不能用身体的任何部位接触佛像。人们认为人的头部是最神圣的身体部位,任何人都不能随意触摸,即使是在平辈人之间也不能,对小孩也不能为了表示喜爱而摸其头顶;脚是身体最下面的部位,决不能用脚对着人,不可以用脚开门或移动物体,在僧侣或客人面前,两腿交叉而坐是不礼貌的行为。日常生活中,老挝人与客人见面时,一般都是施合十礼,行礼时,问候“撒拜迪”(你好)。

The 49 ethnic groups share the language of Lao, and the majority of people share the religion of Theravada Buddhism. It is considered blasphemy against the Buddha to comment on, or to touch with any part of the body Buddhist statues. The head is believed to be the most sacred part of the human body and hence shall not be touched by others, even the head of a child. The feet, on the other hand, are the least sacred part of the human body and shall not be pointed towards others, or used to open doors or move objects. It is rude to sit with legs crossed in front of monks or guests. Laotians greet guests with the namaste and the word “Sabaidee” (How are you).

老挝最隆重的节日是泼水节,也称宋干节,是老挝传统的佛历新年,在每年4月13日至15日左右三天。节日期间,老挝民众必须参加拜佛、浴佛、泼水、拴线、布施、堆沙、放生等仪式,同时在家里、在大街上相互泼水表达祝福,寓意让纯洁的水洗刷掉过去的疾病、灾祸,祈求来年雨水充沛,五谷丰登,迎接美好的新年。

The most important festival, the Water-Sprinkling Festival (or Songkran Festival) is the Buddhist New Year’s Festival. It’s usually from April 13 to 15 each year on the Solar Calendar during which time the Laotians go to the temples to worship the Buddha, pour water over the Buddhist statues to symbolize purification, and perform various other ceremonies such as splashing, tying strings on wrists, making donations to temples, building pagodas with sand, and freeing captive animals. They also pour water on one another at home or in the streets to symbolize cleansing them of disease and misfortune with pure water, as well as to pray for abundant rainwater and good harvest, and then welcome the New Year coming.