PopulationLaos's current population is 6 533 008 with 3 261 180 males (49.9%) and 3 271 912 females (50.1%). So far this year there have also been 132 678 births.
Their main religion is Theravada Buddhism although animist beliefs are also common usually in mountainous areas. An animist belief is a belief in a supernatural power that organises and animates the material word.
Customs & Beliefs
Laos have many different customs and beliefs to Australia and here are some of them.
- In Laos there is a saying that your head is high and your feet are low because in Laos if your feet are used for anything but walking and playing sport it is considered rude even if you stepped over someone sitting on the floor.
- Monks are respected in Laos and women shouldn't touch a monk or their robe.
- Kissing, hugging and holding hands in public is impolite as it is believed that it should be done privately.
- The use of drugs is illegal and the consequences could be serve.
- Temples in Laos are considered holy and you must be dressed appropriately if you go inside. Your shoulders and knees should be covered as well as everything in between. Women who wear a traditional sihn (long skirt) in the streets or in a temple will find the gesture appreciated.
- In Laos you should also stay calm and prevent raising you voice when something goes wrong.
- When swimming women must wear a T- shirt and covering them from mid-thigh to shoulders, shorts are fine for men.
Their language is Lao although French, English and other languages are also spoken.
Many rural families find it hard to make a living on a small amount of land and are unaware that their farming techniques are often outdated. Laos is home to some tropical forests which are being logged rapidly which makes it difficult for farmers to produce healthy crops and leads into another problem, deforestation.
Many rural families live in one-roomed homes, made of bamboo or wood with a thatched or tin roof. These homes are built on stilts so their rooms are kept cool and so they avoid floods.
In rural areas the health services are also poor. They also have a lack of safe water and sanitation means that diseases like diarrhoea and malaria are major causes of illness and sometimes death, especially in young children. Traditional spirit healers remain important because of the absence of medical facilities.