Wat Lao Buddha Phavanaram, Buddhism in the United States

I had seen it on Google Maps before my trip to D.C. and my friend Vilay had told me that it was open and in operation. I came to find out that the Wat hosted the 31st Lao American Sangha Council Conference in 2013.
I stopped by on Asalha Puja, the 12th, to find the place pretty much deserted, but was told that the big day was Khao Pansaa on Sunday the 13th. On Saturday there were in fact  about a dozen folks there, mostly older women, my age, in white, so the place was not actually deserted.
When I arrived on the 13th the place was packed…..

more people than I had imagined packed the sala and the room adjacent. There may not have been the 1,00s that visited Wat Lao D.C. over the 4th of July weekend, but the numbers were impressive. It takes a whole lot of unexpected visitors to run a Wat out of sticky rice, but that is what happened. The buildings and grounds are well maintained and appropriately modest, a pleasant site.
The people were friendly and I had a few quite enjoyable hours chatting with the folks. It looked like about 4 generations of mostly Laos, but Vietnameseand Thai were visiting as well.
I look forward to visiting again when there is a better chance to chat with the monks, all of who are Lao and finding out more about the local Lao Community.

If the album does not appear below Click Here

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply