Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A land-locked country in southeast Asia with a small population, Laos has received heavy cultural influences from Thailand and China, and less so from its other neighbors, Cambodia and Vietnam. The elite in precolonial Laos were dominated by the royal families and the ethnic Chinese, most of whom maintained their power after France made Laos a protectorate in 1907. As a result, many of the games played among the elite tended to include Chinese Chess, Mahjong, and other traditional Chinese pursuits. In villages, and also in the towns—there were no real cities until the 20th century—children played Hide-and-Seek, and played with kites and marbles, while the adults often played musical instruments or took part in forms of gambling involving cockfights ...