Arts and crafts are the expression of the community that creates them, but they also belong to the land that produces the materials used in their manufacture and according to whose seasons the calendrical festivals are set. The folk arts of a people embellish the festivals and ceremonies of their lives and are produced in accord with the cycles of the community--the availability of raw materials and time of the craftspeople. While ceremonies and costumes are to some extent portable, one of the tasks of the new immigrants from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia is to seek ways of preserving and adapting their crafts to the United States, which has its own holidays, work pace, and raw materials.
The nations of the Southeast Asian mainland have been built on many cultures. Just as the countries of Western Europe incorporated the civilizations of Rome and Byzantium into their cultures, so were the Southeast Asian countries influenced by China and India. Their distinctive cultures were formed by selective adaptation and innovation.