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As tradition goes, Lao people lived in a house on stilts whilst eating sticky rice with fermented fish sauce and playing the Khaen (a traditional Lao musical instrument).

The Khaen is one of the traditional musical instruments to have been born with Lao people, which makes it the symbol of music in Laos. The Khaen originated before the 14th century and it is an instrument of many sounds, it is made of bamboo and has four pairs of bamboo shoots while other kinds have six or eight pairs. Each bamboo shoot will have holes in them to produce sounds.

In the past, the Khaen played an important role in creating activities in villages and solidarity among Lao people. Many young boys played the Khaen to communicate their love to girls.

All parts of Laos played the Khaen, which has made it an instrument that is not only popular throughout the country but also a symbol of its culture. It is often played with traditional Lao songs and dances.

Today, many Lao people are more interested in modern instruments from western countries, which means the number of people playing has decreased. A lack of promotion will mean young Lao boys forget it altogether, and take up the guitar.

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