Every group has pride in their culture, people, language and traditions… I am no different. I love where I come from. I remember my past because it helps me live my life in the present and guide me to be better in the future. I am proud to say I am Laotian American. Even though I have embrace my life in America and reaped the benefits of being an American citizen, I have managed to retain my cultural values and beliefs. Yes, it is safe to say I have found a balance between my former self and life with my new life in America. The best part of living in America is the ability for us to maintain our diversity and culture while embracing the American culture. Boualai, recently wrote about being Lao, Laos, and Laotian and I commend him for doing that. However, I would like to take it a step further and stress the importance of what he is saying: we have to know the difference so we can explain to others about our culture and history. To mobilize our community to action, we can not simply take the easy way out and talk about lao pride or proud to be Lao without putting actions behind our words. Easy philsophy to live by is: Show and tell. Show how you are proud of your culture through your actions! Are you doing anything positive to represent your group? Are you active in your community? This brings me to my point: the importance of the first Laotian National Conference. As co-chair of the event, my main reason for my involvement and organization of the event is to mobilize the different generations of Khon Lao to get Lao’d (term I coined to represent Laotians showing their pride in themselves and their culture). It is time to get Lao’d (and yes I also mean loud) and be active in representing the people, culture, and language. I don’t know what you all are waiting for! The moment is NOW! Be a part of a historic moment where we all come together and Lao’d about ourselves and people. There are several ways to show your pride besides the conference. Go out there and find your own way. Do what you want, but show it and then tell it! I am proud to be Lao! I’m not just going to waste my time telling you, I’m going to show you! Can you all do the same? Catch me on facebook (Anasone Silivongxay) or on the LANA website (http://www.lana-usa.org/). Come out to the conference in SF on April 8th &9th, Hotel Whitcomb, 8-6 and show me you are ready to get Lao’d!