Amazing Facts » Facts And Trivia About Countries – Cambodia
Amazing Facts about Cambodia
Here are some interesting facts for kids on Cambodia. Despite its size, Cambodia has much to offer to its traveler. Despite having the Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s greatest asset, and treasure are its people. The traveler may find the people overly friendly and proud of what they have. They have virtually been to hell and back and you have nothing but admiration for them.
There are a lot more high-rise buildings, the country’s first stock exchange, multiplex cinemas, mobile phones, and the internet. Its roads, ports, and railways have vastly improved over the recent years. The Cambodian Government is going all out to benefit from the sudden newfound opportunities and signing new contracts virtually every day, without evaluating the long-term effects that this may have on the economy.
Little has changed even in the last decade. The dusty and broken-down roads are filled with a mixture of Toyota SUVs, sleek minibuses and a clutter of tut-tuts, old mopeds, and rickety carts. Only recently were the roads in Phnom Penh, the capital, have been upgraded with a layer of bitumen. Phnom Penh, which was once virtually a ghost town, is now blossoming into a small up-market southeastern vibrant metropolis.
The Khmer empire had one of the world's most glorious traditions in sculpture and architecture. The many Hindu and Buddhist temples at Angkor and throughout Cambodia are a manifestation of that and reflect the strong influence of the culture and religions of India.
The culture of Cambodia is rich and varied dating back many centuries. It has been heavily influenced by India. For over two millennia as they developed a unique Khmer belief from the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Cambodian clothing reflects the wearer’s social class. Cambodians traditionally use an all-purpose clothing known as Krama. The Indian influenced traditional costume known as the Sampot has lost popularity in the recent years. However, Khmer People's clothing also changed depending on the time period and religion.
Cambodia people do the sampeah gesture, which is similar to the Indian Namaste and Thai wai while greeting people. Other Cambodian customs include;
- A person is lazy if he does not wake up before sunrise.
- You have to tell your elders where you are going and when you plan to return home.
- You are not supposed to slam doors as it shows your bad temper.
- You are also not supposed to cross your legs and sit as it shows you are rude.
- In addition, always let other people talk more than you did.
- Not polite to have eye contact with a person who is older than you or a superior.
- Disrespectful to point or sleep with your feet pointing at a person as the feet are the lowest part of the body and are considered to be impure
Cambodia is predominantly 90% Buddhists, 1% Christian and the balance are either Islamic or atheists. Buddhism however has been prevalent since the 5th century.
The birth of a child is a happy event for the family. According to traditional rituals, however, the mother and child are exposed to the spirit world during confinement and childbirth. A woman can become an evil spirit if she dies during childbirth. Hence, there are a number of food taboos and situations that a pregnant woman has to avoid.
Classes and Castes
Over the last two decades, there has been the new rich class that has surfaced among the new upmarket businesspersons and top ranking government officials. This is in a country where 90% of the population is below the poverty line.
Gender Roles and Statuses
There is some flexibility in gender roles as most tasks performed by men occasionally are performed by women, and vice versa. In the rural areas, men generally plowed, made and repaired tools, fished, and cared for cattle. Women did the washing and housecleaning, childcare, the everyday shopping and transplanted seedlings. Women are responsible for maintaining the family budget.
There is a long tradition of the use of writing, with important religious texts, royal chronicles, and epic poetry, but modern literature is undeveloped.
Football is a popular sport as well as martial arts, which include Khmer kick boxing, Bokador (traditional kick-boxing), and traditional wrestling.
Cambodian food leaves much to be desired although it is not that bad as it is a mixture of Thai and Vietnamese cooking, both of which are considered remarkable cuisines. Then, there are also the odd delicacies such as dog, grubs, and locusts if you know where to get it. In addition, for those who prefer Japanese, Indian, Chinese, French, American, German, Mexican, Italian, or even African, these are all available in the capital city.
Khmer food is cheap and tasty and is usually accompanied by noodles or rice. Thai food is not spicy and in most dishes, black pepper is the preferred choice instead of chilly. Iced coffee is freshly brewed coffee like in Vietnam, which is then blended with sweetened condensed milk and ice. Iced tea with lemon and sugar is also a refreshing drink.
There is also a wide variety of fresh fruit available from markets. The prices vary according to which fruit is in season. There are nine varieties of delicious mangoes. Mangosteen, which is found during May / June, is also very tasty.
You can drink the tap water in Phnom Penh but it is highly chlorinated and you may not like the taste. However, out of Phnom Penh, tap water is not safe. There is also some concern about the bottle water vendors. Fresh or tender coconut is virtually everywhere. It is the best drink under such conditions. It is healthy and sanitary if drunk straight from the fruit.
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 some 7 million people living there, roughly 90% of the population.
The traveler, however, will generally find people friendly and curious, proud of what little they have, and generous with it.
These awesome facts and information presented is interesting and serve kids and adults on an overseas trip to Cambodia. Do visit us every week to read more facts about new countries.