Expat Spotlight: Phoumphithath Oupaseuth - The Friendly Host of Xom Lao TV
Phoumphithath Oupaseuth - the host of Xom Lao TV with a total of 5 million views on YouTube impresses the online audiences with native-like Vietnamese fluency and a smile that never leaves his face. The Laotian man, having been in Vietnam since 2013, dedicates his YouTube content to introduce his life in Vietnam using the power of the Internet.
Anywhere he goes, Phoumphithath Oupaseuth (Thut) asked people to simply call him by his Vietnamese name - Hoang Phuc or Phuc. The 29-year-old content creator shared that, many years ago, as he first came to Vietnam to study abroad, he wanted to create an online platform to share the cultural beauty of Laos with friends. Also, the longer he lives in Vietnam, the more beauty in culture and customs he explores and wishes to introduce them online.
|From the end of 2022, the preparaton for lauching videos on Xom Lao TV started. By January 2023, Thut realized his younger-self goal and posted the first video on Xom Lao TV. (Photo courtesy by Phoumphithath Oupaseuth).
“Xom Lao TV is first and foremost a place where I can share and promote the beautiful culture of my country with Vietnamese friends. This is also a place for me to cherish the life experiences I gained while going to school, working or from traveling and exploring culture in Vietnam," said Thut.
|Phoumphithath Oupaseuth (far right) as the host of Xom Lao TV introducing the popularity of Vietnamese language in his home country (Photo: Xom Lao TV).
His channel currently attracts almost 40 thousand subscribers. The first video "Why do many Laotian students choose studying in Vietnam?" reached 400 thousand views. The friendly "Laotian host" gradually became a full-time Youtuber after just over a year of creating online content.
One of the two main topics of Xom Lao TV is travel vlog. As Thut goes to different places across the S-shaped land, he explores unique cultural features of the local communities. From cuisine to languages, he carefully explains to viewers about his experiences. In these trips, the viewers can watch the Laotian man and friends with similar interests create beautiful memories while in Vietnam. The online community that Xom Lao TV created started to grow. Thut actively fulfilled the viewers' requests, such as food recommendations, or talking to many locals and listening to them share about their homeland in an open and friendly way.
The foreign YouTuber also created talk show videos with interesting concepts. Each video is with new guests who joined Phuc to talk openly about a certain topic. The guests are from the Lao community who are living, studying and working in Vietnam, or expats with the passion for Vietnam.
Some of the most well-received videos on Xom Lao TV are under the talk show concept, namely "What surprises Lao international students when finding about Vietnamese culture?" or "Funny mistakes when learning Vietnamese?" Although the host and the guest talked in Vietnamese, the international viewers can still understand the content thanks to the accurate English subtitles.
|The video where Phoumphithath Oupaseuth (far right) held talk with old classmates of Vietnamese classes received hundred thousands of view (Photo: Xom Lao TV)
Thut shared that he puts much effort into making the discussion as open and sincere as possible. That way, "Xom Lao TV" can provide a clearer picture of expat's lives in Vietnam.
"The guests were not provided with a script in advance. During the shoot, I will ask questions and the guests will give authentic answers about their own experience and how they feel," said the young man.
Xom Lao TV's first viral video is an unforgettable milestone for Thut. In this video, two young Lao ladies joined the friendly host, including Xanita Savengxok - the 2nd runner-up of Miss World Laos 2019. They shared with the friendly host all about their perspectives on Vietnamese men. When Thut saw that the video attracted 200,000 views on the first day of airing, he could not believed his eyes. Only 10 days later, this video had reached 1 million views.
“This is the first video on Xom Lao TV to reach 1 million views. I'm very happy that since I started creating content on YouTube, I have received such warm support!" exclaimed Thut.
|Phoumphithath Oupaseuth (left) and his Vietnamese wife Nguyen Phuong Hoa (Photo courtesy by Phoumphithath Oupaseuth).
Already cementing his connection with Vietnam's people, he also reached out to the Vietnamese community in his home country. To his surprise, Thut receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the Vietnamese people he met in Laos.
“If It was not for YouTube, I wouldn't have the opportunity to connect with the Vietnamese community and listen to their stories about living in Laos. I feel happy that they love my country as much as I love Vietnam. The videos received many encouragement and compliments. Many said Xom Lao TV helped them understand more about the beautiful relationship between Vietnamese and Laos people," said Thut.
|Phoumphithath Oupaseuth (right) has been working as lecturer at the Department of Southeast Asian Linguistics and Cultures, University of Languages & International Studies, Vietnam National University in Hanoi for more than 4 years (Photo courtesy by Phoumphithath Oupaseuth)
Sharing his future plans, the foreign YouTuber hopes that he continue to be the friendly host who bring joys to his viewers. Thut has many ambitious plan for his journey of living in Vietnam with many roles: a teacher, a content creator, and a family man. He also hopes to become an example of successful Laos people living and working abroad.
"My online contents are not only about my personal interest but also are the ways I contribute to the community around me. I hope my YouTube channel can reach more people so that they can gain more understanding about Vietnamese and Laotian youth," said Thut.
|As a monthly series for the Vietnam Times, the Expat Spotlight aims to highlight interesting members from Vietnam's diverse expat community. Be it through travel, charity, business, art, or diplomatic works, these expats have a deep love for Vietnam and wish to see it progress. Stay tuned to learn about the other expats and their various projects. If you would like to nominate someone for a future feature, please message the Vietnam Times via Facebook.
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