Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Khmu picnic

I am quickly learning that as the spouse of a pastor I get to attend all sorts of events that I wouldn't normally go to and this weekend was no exception. Last night we attended the monthly Oasis Coffee House performance at 1st Pres., Waltham. It's part of the mission of this church to support the arts (and the hope is that the program will grow to support the mission of the church as well). We heard two folk/blues singers, one of whom, Danielle Miraglia, was particularly good. She was an excellent guitar player, singer and songwriter with a surprising bluesy voice.

Today, we drove out to Cochicuate State Park, about a half hour west of Boston for the annual Khmu picnic. There are a few members of Liz's church that are of the Khmu ethinic group and today I learned about their fascinating and difficult history since the Vietnam war. The Khmu are the native ethnic people of Laos but have faced extreme discrimination by the Laotian's which drove many of them to seek refuge in other countries like Thailand and the United States. Many of the Khmu in the Boston area came to the states in the 1980's and 90's. Today they seem to be thriving here and they get together once a year for a huge picnic where they cook amazing food. We had spicy noodles, all sorts of BBQ'd meats (Liz accidentally ate chicken liver), fried rice,
sticky rice and spicy chicken in lettuce wraps. Here are some pictures of the get together and this beautiful park.

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