Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wet Wet Wet – Pi Mai

The 14-16th of April is Lao New Year – Pi Mai.    Thailand, Laos & Cambodia celebrate at this time.

On Tuesday at work there was a marquee set up. Everyone ate, watched some traditional dancing, and poured water on each other's shoulder. Ice water at times! After the official speech after lunch there was Lao dancing. 

Dancing is very gentle, more like a shuffle and some hand waving. As more people join in the circle gets larger, but the dancing doesn't speed up much.  Note in this short video the "dance" and a couple of ladies with obvious wet backs. Then in the middle of the marquee was a …sprinkler. A sign of things to come.

On Wednesday we were sitting in the sun in front of our apartment and our Landlady wandered over to give us an orchid plant for Pi Mai and poured water on both our backs. Another sign of things to come.

On Thursday afternoon we went out on our bikes wearing old clothes – we had been pre-warned about the coloured dyes and paints. The town was rocking! People were singing and dancing on the roadside, music was blaring and there was water going everywhere. Very quickly we were soaked to the skin. Andrew had his trusty water pistol and surprised most people by squirting them – no one really expected such an innocent falang to do such a thing. He also stopped and got offered a beer by some partying locals.

On Friday we gathered some provisions in the morning – BEFORE the water throwing started again. But in the afternoon we went for another cruise and got as wet as we had yesterday. It was FUN. Andrew got squirted by some kids in a Land Cruiser, but they got a the biggest shock of their lives when he pointed his water gun in the open window and gave them their just desserts. He got a big wave and a thumbs up from their father.

Saturday, the music got louder than it has been. Near our place there were competing loud speakers about 4 or 5 houses apart. From the corner of our street we could see the water throwing still going, but decided to relax by the pool instead.

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