SatJaDham Lao Literary Project turns 20

On April 11th, 1995, the SatJaDham Lao literary project was born. The SatJaDham Lao Literary Project was one of the oldest continuous networks of Laotian American writers in existence. This year marks the 20th annivesary of the network.

The group held 7 national conferences of Laotian writers and readers and produced five small anthologies of Lao American writings between 1995 to 2001. The group's name came from the combination of the words "SatJa" and "Dhamma." "Satja" means truth in Lao, and "dham" is from dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha.

While the network is not currently active, many of its founders and members have continued to write and contribute to community building through their art, education, civic service and volunteering, including with organizations such as the Lao Heritage Foundation, the Center for Lao Studies and the Laotian American National Alliance. 

They produced some of the first works of Lao American voices in their own words on their own terms. We think it's a model for many refugee and immigrant communities in diaspora in terms of best practices for finding their voices. 

Nor Sanavongsay