Lao language is the national language. Other languages used are
French, English, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese.
appeared in Laos during the eighth century A.D. as shown by both the
Buddha image and the stone inscription found at Ban Talat near
Vientiane, now exhibited at the Museum of Hoprakao.
Today Theravada Buddhism is the professed religion of about 90% of Lao
people. Buddhism is an inherent feature of daily life and casts a
strong influence on Lao society. Lao woman can be seen each morning
giving alms to monks, earring merit to lessen the number of their
rebirth. Lao men are expected to be come a monk for at least a short
time in their lives. Traditionally they spent three months during the
rainy season in a Wat. A Buddhist temple. But nowadays most men
curtail their stay to one or two weeks.
After the foundation of the unified Kingdom of Lane Xang, King Fan gum
(14th century) declared. Buddhism as the state religion and urged the
people to the abandon animism or other beliefs such as the cult of
spirits. His policy meant to develop the Laos culture based on a
common faith: the Theravada Buddhism.
Laos has a total population of 4.6 million, 13% of whom live in
Vientiane province. People share a rich ethnic diversity, comprising
such groups Hmong, Khmu, Yao, Akha, Lu etc. Most of them have kept
their own customs; dialects and traditional dress in total 47
different groups are accounted for in Laos. These can be classified
into three broad groups:
The Lao Lum (lowlanders)
who make up 70% of the population and predominantly live Mekong
The Lao Theung (uplands)
who comprise 20% of the population and on the lope and with an
elevation of less than 1,000metres.
The Lao Song (hill
tribes) who constitute 10% of the population and live in the
The population density of
Laos amounts to 19 people per square kilometer, a small number
compared to the country's neighbors: 120 people per square kilometer
in Thailand; and 200 people per square kilometer in China.