Sunday, November 25, 2012


Danny Liemthongsamout
Entry # 4

As I age I've noticed everyone around me accepts what we are.  We realize our gold teeth and clothing will never be accepted.  People dress urban as a fashion trend when they never came from urban communities.  As I pass as a normal person, my life and who I am will never be able to pass.  Kawamura states," Fashion in a postmodern times emerges out of youth culture and is then commercialized by the industry to reach a wider audience to spread it as a 'fashion'." (799)  Stick up boy clothing is imitated in fashion but few remember it's origins and meaning.  Many people represent their communities but aren't actively involved in the underground and movement of their communities.  I guess I pass now because there is no reason to prove what I am.  It isn't the clothing, but if people knew who I am, how I live, and the community I come from, they tend to judge.  It's game recognize game.  People forget hip hop fashion comes from real live youth cultures.  It is something for a culture to evolve influenced from the philosophy and legacy of other cultures, but I feel there is a sense of cultural appropriation in Japanese clothing.  The aesthetics of clothing becomes more important than the meaning.  Losing the meaning of patterns in Lao traditional clothing creates fashion with a fragmented connection to it's own history, influence, and purpose.

I don't know why, but lately I fell a sorrow when I see hip hop fashion.  I see a different kind of beauty connected to my memories.  I remember violence, robberies, and cars.  I remember days in the hospital and the smell of gasoline.  People don't realized the base of the clothing in my community is poverty.  Poverty and it's consequences permeate into all aspects of our lives.  It's a life of survival and I carry stories and wisdom of people who didn't make it.  Watching "My True Friend", it reminds me how putting on clothes reminds me of people.  It reminds me of a time in my life.  Maybe this is how my elders feel seeing traditional clothes.  It reminds them of another time and many people who never made it.  I actually feel emotions.  I feel sorrow, sadness, happiness, joy, loneliness, and comfortable at the same time.  "Sabai Sabai" is to be at peace.  Peace isn't forgetting pain or embracing happiness.  Peace is fully feeling sorrow and happiness.  I guess the sorrow I feel putting on clothes in the morning makes me smile.  Lao people never cry at funerals, because we do not hold on to death but to the beauty of peoples' lives. 

Update on Be Green Challenge:
I lost count on how many cigarettes I smoke.  What am I coping with?  I look at my life and know but it's so much to confront.  There is something wrong.  There are things wrong in this world, because I know in my heart the way the world is and the way I live shouldn't be considered normal.  I've never worried about life or a career.  I know I'll struggle and sacrifice.  Will I sacrifice my body to labor?  Will I sacrifice my mind to academia?  Will I sacrifice my heart to the streets?  My life has always been hard and I know it will not get easier.  It's stressful to go from hugging our son and then aiming a gun at people.  It is a life with too much emotions.  It is a life with too much struggle.  It's the only life I have and my community has.  I never thought I would care less about clothing as I aged.

Kawamura, Yuniya. "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion." Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. .
My True Friend. Atsajun Sattakovit. NA. 2012. Film. <>

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