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Collaborating Partner

Client Name



Buttonwood Winery

Romulus, New York


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Govenour's Cup Award Winning New York State Finger Lakes Winery, Buttonwood Grove Winery, located on the West side of Cayuga Lake teams up with an AAPI not for profit organization, Lao Upstate New York (LAO UNY) to showcase the beauty of the region, it’s diverse  communities, and range of cuisines in the Greater Rochester area for National AAPI Heritage month.


This  project and many others that LAO UNY works on throughout the year are an effort to highlight the region's diversity and raise cultural awareness through community engagement.  Last year the organization helped to redistribute 235, 240lbs of food to  communities in need in Upstate NY by collaborating with 76 different community organizations to help thousands in need.  During the pandemic, the not for profit group had to figure out a non traditional way to still generate revenue & carry on their mission despite the restrictions on large group gatherings.  Hosting events & galas like many other not for profits was their main fundraising strategy.  The group hopes to roll out plans for a community space later this year that serves as a safe space to celebrate culture & heritage not only for the Laotian American community but other New American communities as well in the Greater Rochester Area as well.

Label Artwork also features a piece work from Chicago based Laotian American visual artist Chantala Kommanivanh’s Su Kwan (Calling of the Souls) collection.  BACI, the chosen name of the wine is also the name of a Lao traditional ceremony

Baci (Lao: ບາສີ; Thai: บายศรี, RTGS: bai si) and su kwan (Lao: ສູ່ຂວັນ; Thai: สู่ขวัญ, RTGS: su khwan; meaning "calling of the soul") is an important ceremony practised in Lao culture,[1][2][3] Sipsong Panna and Northern and Isan Thai culture.

The ceremony of Baci is held on any day throughout the year as it is meant to commemorate specific events in an individual's life. It is usually held before noon. The events could be anything related to the human soul – such as a marriage, a success in any endeavour, an annual festival, birth of a child, recovery from sickness, seeking cure for any type of ill health and even to honour visitors and guests of importance.


The ceremony is performed by a senior person of the community who has been a Buddhist monk at some stage, and special arrangements are made for the occasion. The practice involves preparing the pah kwan or the flower trays and placing at a central location for people to gather around it in reverential prayers. The pa kwan is normally prepared by the elderly ladies of the household or the community. The paw kwan is elaborately prepared on a silver tray on which a cone or horn made of banana leaves is placed at the centre and is decked with flowers and white cotton and silk threads tied to a bamboo stalk as flags. The decoration with flowers is of different flower types with specific connotation of dok huck (symbol of love), dok sampi (longevity), dok daohuang (cheerfulness/brilliance) and so forth.


Baci (Lao: ບາສີ; Thai: บายศรี, RTGS: bai si) and su kwan (Lao: ສູ່ຂວັນ; Thai: สู่ขวัญ, RTGS: su khwan; meaning "calling of the soul") is an important ceremony practised in Lao culture, Sipsong Panna and Northern and Isan Thai culture.

The crux of the ceremony is to invoke the kwan, which in specific terms is explained as:

"An ancient belief in Laos that the human being is a union of 32 organs and that the kwan watch over and protect each one of them. It is of the utmost consequence that as many kwan as possible are kept together in the body at any one time. Since all kwan is often the attributed cause of an illness, the baci ceremony calls the kwan or souls from wherever they may be roaming, back to the body, secures them in place, and thus re-establishes equilibrium."

Chantala Kommanivanh

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"Through painting, his works are a reinterpretation of memories documenting his personal history.


Raised with traditional Lao customs at home and active in hip-hop culture outside of home, Kommanivanh’s work investigates cultural hybridity and tensions of identity, as he and his family were refugees from the unfortunate outcomes of the 1964-1975 Secret War in Laos."

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