For a while, the everyday workwear was replaced with flowered shirts at MASCOT’s factory in Laos, as our colleagues the 11th April could enjoy a fashion show, competitions and a quiz. According to tradition, the New Year’s celebration was held with dance and laughter.
If you look at the calendar in Laos, you will notice a recent holiday. Every year in the middle of April is the Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao), and MASCOT opened the doors to a New Year’s celebration to welcome the New Year.
The New Year’s celebration in Laos has many traditions and especially religion is highly valued. MASCOT Laos had among other things the great honour of welcoming a senior monk, who on this day visited the factory and at the same time gave his blessing. During the day, the employees could also enjoy a wet cooling in the baking sun, as a part of the celebration is to mist each other with holly water, which according to tradition should wash the evil away, and instead wish a long and healthy life.
Up to two weeks before the big celebration, the employees at the factory and office at MASCOT Laos had in their spare time prepared and practiced in secret in order to compete against each other for the best entertainment at the celebration. The results were impressive, and the features on the show covered everything from dance to acting.
Besides the many fun features, the employees also found the time to an informative quiz. MASCOT Laos is SA 8000 certified, which is the most acknowledged certification within social responsibility. The questions in the quiz were about this exact certification, and had the purpose of informing and teaching the employees in their rights and the conditions this certification demands.
It is not just the new year that were celebrated. With the New Year MASCOT can look back at a businesslike good year at the relatively newly started factory (2014). 600 employees produce a wide range of ‘Made in Laos’-products each day, and it is not only MASCOT that are happy about that. The Lao trade authorities is very proud over the fact that quality products are made with ‘Made in Laos’ printed on the label. At the same time, they also like to use MASCOT as an example to attract other investors to Laos. MASCOT were this autumn – as the first company in Laos - certified according to the new, more stringent version of the CSR-norm SA 8000.