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Cambodia, country on the Indochinese mainland of Southeast Asia.

Cambodia is largely a land of plains and great rivers and lies amid important
overland and river trade routes linking China to India and Southeast Asia. The
influences of many Asian cultures, alongside those of France and the United
States, can be seen in the capital, Phnom Penh, one of a handful of urban
centres in the largely rural country.

Languages
The Khmer language is one of the major tongues of the Mon-Khmer subfamily of
the Austroasiatic language family and is spoken by nearly all people in Cambodia,
including the Cham-Malay. Historically, a small number of people in Cambodia
spoke Vietnamese and Chinese. The Katu, Mnong, and Stieng speak Mon-Khmer
languages, while the Jarai and Rhadé speak languages of the Austronesian
language family.

Religion
Most ethnic Khmer are Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhists (i.e., belonging to the
older and more traditional of the two great schools of Buddhism, the other school
being Mahayana). Until 1975 Buddhism was officially recognized as the state
religion of Cambodia.
Phnom Penh is the vibrant bustling capital of Cambodia. Situated at the
confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle
Sap, what was once considered the 'Gem' of Indochina. The capital city still
maintains considerable charm with plenty to see. It exudes a sort of provincial
charm and tranquillity with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards
amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. Phnom Penh is a veritable oasis
compared to the modernity of other Asian capitals. A mixture of Asian exotica,
the famous Cambodian hospitality awaits the visitors to the capital of the
Kingdom of Cambodia.
CULTURE AND TRADITIONS
Ways Of Life
Birth and death rituals

The birth of a child is a happy event for the family. According to traditional beliefs, however,
confinement and childbirth expose the family, and especially the mother and the child to harm
from the spirit world. A woman who dies in childbirth—crosses the river (chhlong tonle) in
Khmer is believed to become an evil spirit. In traditional Khmer society, a pregnant woman
respects a number of food taboos and avoids certain situations. These traditions remain in
practice in rural Cambodia, but they have become weakened in urban areas.

Death is not viewed with the great outpouring of grief common to Western society; it is viewed
as the end of one life and as the beginning of another life that one hopes will be better. Buddhist
Khmer usually are cremated, and their ashes are deposited in a stupa in the temple compound
and the most of ashes will put in the river or lake. A corpse is washed, dressed, and placed in a
coffin, which may be decorated with flowers and with a photograph of the deceased. White
pennant-shaped flags, called "white crocodile flags," outside a house indicate that someone in
that household has died. A funeral procession consisting of an achar, Buddhist monks, members
of the family, and other mourners accompanies the coffin to the crematorium. The spouse and
the children show mourning by shaving their heads and by wearing white clothing. Relics such
as teeth or pieces of bone are prized by the survivors, and they are often worn on gold chains as
amulets.

Language in Cambodia
Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and is used in most social contexts including
government administration, education at all levels, and in the mass media.

It is spoken by roughly 90% of the population.


Regional differences are slight and normally mutually intelligible. Based on the dialect of the
capital city of Phnom Penh,
Modern Khmer is used throughout the nation and widely understood by its inhabitants. Much
Khmer vocabulary used in literature, the military, and administration is borrowed from Sanskrit,
or Pali.
Religion
The majority of Cambodians follow Theravada Buddhism which originated in India. It teaches
that that life and death in this world are intertwined through the concept of reincarnation.
Every person lives a life as a worldly being and depending on their behaviour will come back in
their next life as a higher or lower being.
"Karma" is the term used to describe this - i.e. if you do good you will have good karma. A
rough translation of this is, "you reap what you sow."

Meeting & Greeting


 Greetings between Cambodians are dependent on the relationship/hierarchy/age between the
people.
 You should always make the effort to greet the most senior / oldest person first and the least
senior / youngest person last. Going straight to the lowest person in the hierarchy, may well
cause the most senior person to feel a loss of face.
 The traditional greeting is a bow combined with a bringing of the hands together at chest level
(similar to bringing hands together for prayer).
 If one intends to show greater respect the bow is lower and the hands brought higher.
 With foreigners Cambodians have adopted the western practice of shaking hands. Women may
still use the traditional Cambodian greeting.
 The simple rule is to respond with the greeting you are given.
 In Cambodia people are addressed with the honorific title "Lok" for a man and "Lok Srey" for a
woman followed with the first name or both the first and surname.

Cambodian people are well-known for their hospitality and warmth. Out of respect, visitors to the
Kingdom should take care to observe local customs and practices. You may find it useful to familiarise
yourself with the following common dos and don’ts before embarking on your trip to Cambodia.

Please note that Cambodia is in a renaissance period after a destructive civil war, but poverty still
strikes visitors and touches their emotions. On a daily basis in all tourism spots visitors will be
approached by street or temple children trying to sell something or just begging. Please
read ChildSafe 7 tips, and watch this video. The temptation to give to children is difficult to resist,
but be aware that it is only encouraging them to remain in the streets rather than going to school;
and may lead them towards drugs and prostitution.
DOS IN CAMBODIA
 Ask for permission before taking photographs of any Cambodian people or monks.

 Support the local economy by buying Cambodian food and handicrafts, or simply try a traditional Cambodian
meal.
 It is customary to remove your shoes when entering a place of worship such as a pagoda or temple. Additionally,
visitors should dress appropriately when inside a religious site (upper arms and legs should be covered, hats
removed).

 It is respectful to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.

 A respectful way of greeting another individual is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the
chest (known as “Sampeah”).

 If invited to dine in a Cambodian family’s home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host such as fruit, dessert,
or flowers.

 If invited to attend a Cambodian wedding, it is customary to bring cash as a wedding gift.

 When using a toothpick at the table, use one hand to cover your mouth.

 Keep business cards ready, and present them with both hands. Accept business cards with both hands.

DON’TS IN CAMBODIA
 The feet are considered the lowest form of the body and the head the highest form. Don’t point or gesture with
your feet or put your feet on the furniture. Also don’t touch someone on the head.

 Don’t start eating before your host if you are a guest at a dinner.

 Women should never touch male monks or their robes, or hand something directly to them.

 Show respect by not taking photos or disturbing monks during prayer times.

 Buying and consuming any type of narcotic drugs is illegal.

 Kissing and hugging in public is very impolite. Wearing revealing clothing is also not considered appropriate
even though other tourists may do this.

 Do not purchase historical artefacts or rob the Cambodian people of their history.

2 FESTIVALS
Magha Puja Day or Meak Bochea

This is the most important festival of the monks in Cambodia and hence tops the list of
Cambodia festivals. On this day, monks all over Cambodia celebrate that time in history
when Lord Buddha delivered his sermon to the 1250 monks who had spontaneously
gathered at Rajagaha Valuwan Vihara, which is the place where Lord Buddha had
retreated. This marks the beginning of all the religious festivals in Cambodia. The
Theravada Buddhists gather in a procession in Dhammakaya, which is a temple in
Khlong Luang, and meditate & pray in the morning followed by circling the central altar
twice with incense sticks, candles and flowers under the full moon night sky.

Date: 19th February 2019

Water Festival

Water festival in Cambodia is a magnificent and traditional event which take place at
Phnom Penh. The Cambodia Water Festival history dates back to 12th century of
Angkor period when the Naval Forces had battled for securing Cambodia. It is a mark of
respect for these Naval Forces. It is celebrated night and day with all the Cambodian
citizens, peasants and foreign travelers gathering in the capital. A boat racing event
takes place during the celebration which formerly was a battle training conducted by
the naval forces.

Date: 10th November 2018 to 12th November 2018

3 FAMOUS ATTRACTIONS

1. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat (meaning “City Temple”) is the most magnificent and largest of
all Angkor temples and the top tourist attraction in Cambodia. Built around
the first half of 12th century by King Suryavarman II, the temple’s balance,
composition and beauty make it one of the finest monuments in the world.
A huge rectangular reservoir surrounds Angkor Wat which rises up
through a series of three rectangular terraces to the central shrine and
tower at a height of 213 meters (669 feet). This arrangement reflects the
traditional Khmer idea of the temple mountain, in which the temple
represent Mount Meru, the home of the gods in Hinduism.
2. Bayon Temple
Part of the world famous destination of Angkor, the Bayon temple features
a sea of over 200 massive stone faces looking in all direction. The curious
smiling faces, thought by many to be a portrait of king Jayavarman VII
himself or a combination of him and Buddha, are an instantly recognizable
image of Angkor. Built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII as part
of a massive expansion of his capital Angkor Thom, the Bayon is built at
the exact center of the royal city.

Banteay Srei
Although officially part of the Angkor complex, Banteay Srei lies 25 km (15 miles)
north-east of the main group of temples, and therefore often considered a
separate Cambodia attraction. The temple was completed in 967 AD and is built
largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative
wall carvings which are still clearly visible today. Banteay Srei is the only major
temple at Angkor not built for a king, instead it was constructed by one of king
Rajendravarman’s counselors, Yajnyavahara.

PRODUCTS AND DELICACIES

Fish amok (steamed coconut fish in


banana leaves)
In the Khmer diet, rice and freshwater fish play big roles because of the abundance of
both. Amok is a national dish, made from fish, coconut milk and curry paste.

All the ingredients are mixed together and put in banana leaf cups with coconut cream
on top, then steamed. Another common form is amok chouk – snails with curry steamed
in their shells. It's best served with a plate of hot, steamed rice.

Samlor machu trey (sweet and sour soup


with fish)
Samlor machu trey is a soup that's popular in many households in Cambodia as it’s not
only easy to make but also has a lovely taste. Its ingredients include fish, garlic,
lemongrass, celery, tamarind juice, bean sprouts, pineapple and seasoning with sugar,
fish sauce, and salt.

Many people also add some fresh green herbs and hot chilli pepper on top before
serving.
Char kroeung sach ko (stir-fried
lemongrass beef)
Char kroeung sach ko is a popular Cambodian stir-fried dish that you can find almost
throughout the country. After putting the beef in heated oil with garlic, stir fry until the
beef becomes tender. Then add vegetables such as red peppers and onion as well as
the kroeung mixture.

Kroeung is lemongrass paste which is considered very healthy, made from a variety of
Asian herbs such as lemongrass (known to have a benefit in lowering acne), kaffir lime
leaves and galangal.