Notions of belonging associated with national borders are being transformed by the diversity of overseas education experienced by urban elites from contemporary Laos. While the earlier educational journeys of colonial subjects inspired a passionate nationalism, this article argues that new pilgrimages reveal a culturally specific passion for exploration among young technocrats that circumvents the boundaries of the post-revolutionary state. The article charts the historical process of accessing, undertaking and returning from study abroad, and demonstrates that the cosmopolitan status of scholars is obtained in the context of a struggle to define Laos as a legitimate worldly space.
|South East Asia Research
|Published - 2007