This book examines how sport and ideas of physicality have shaped the politics and culture of modern Laos. Viewing the country's extraordinary transitions-from French colonialism to royalist nationalism to revolutionary socialism to the modern development state-through the lens of physical culture, Simon Creak's lively and incisive narrative illuminates a nation that has no reputation in sport and is typically viewed, even from within, as a country of cheerful but lazy people. Creak argues that sport and related physical practices-including physical education, gymnastics, and military training have shaped a national consciousness by locating it in everyday experience. These practices are popular, participatory, performative, and, above all, physical in character and embody ideas and ideologies in a symbolic and experiential way.
Making a modern tradition -- Renovating the body, restoring the nation/race -- Military masculinity in the age of independence -- Sport and the theatrics of power -- Representing Meuang Lao in Southeast Asia -- Socialist cultures of rhetoric and physicality -- Mobilizing the revolution -- Vientiane Games, 2009
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