Kingdom of Cambodia

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Cambodia's Flag

This site is about Cambodia. Their culture, beliefs, language, geography, EVERYHING :) just scroll down.

Language

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Khmer writing


Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. French was once the second language but English is now replacing it. Most Cambodians over the age of 70 can probably speak French fluently. Khmer was influenced by the Indian classical languages, Pali & Sanskrit. Khmer has changed a lot through Cambodian history. It now contains some Thai, Chinese, & French words. It is an ancient language, a distinct national language. It is spoken by roughly 90% of the population.

Beliefs/Religion


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Theravada Buddha


The Khmer have been Buddhist since the time of Angkor. Monks are involved in politics. Between 1975 & 1979, the Khmer rouge banned all religion in Cambodia. Monks are usually present at all important ceremonies. In the 13th century Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the Cambodians by Sri Lanka. 90% of the populations follows Theravada Buddhism. Buddhists believe that life is cycle of death & rebirth. Where if you're good in the next life you will have a higher status. In traditional Cambodian society men must enter at least 3 years of monkhood. Usually starting at the age of 12 or 13. They learn Buddhist philosophy, social morality, & practice chanting. Religion is a big part of Cambodian. Most Cambodians will refuse to give up their belief in Theravada Buddhism but younger Cambodians are starting to learn about other religions, like Christianity.

Institution

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Prime Minister Hun Sen


Government:

Cambodia is a multiparty, liberal democracy under a constitutional monarch. The chief of state is King Norodom Sihanouk. The head of the government is Prime Minister Hun Sen. The king is ruler for life. The Royal Government of Cambodia was established on September 24, 1993. Royal Council: President, first & second vice presidents of National Assembly. Executive Branch: King, appointed Prime Minister, 10 deputy prime ministers, 16 senior ministers, 26 ministers, 206 secretaries of state & 205 undersecretaries of state. Bicameral Legislature: 123-member elected National Assembly & 61 member senate. Judiciary: Supreme court, lower courts & an internalized court with jurisdiction over the serious crimes of the Khmer Rouge era.

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Education:

Nine years of education is compulsory starting from primary level at 6. There are around 26,000 teachers in Cambodia. 93% of children are enrolled in primary school. Adult literacy is 75%. More than 40% of all schools are without water supply & 30% without toilets. Education was traditionally offered by the wats (Buddhist temples) which only provided education for the male population. The 1917 law on education passed by the French colonial government, it introduced the primary & secondary education system. It was modeled like in France. This reached a very small percentage of the population. In 1975, Khmer Rouge abolished all education. In 1979, the new government had to completely reconstruct the entire education system. The education still has many difficulties & low population of participants.

Economy:

GDP: $30.65 billion GDP growth: 6% Inflation rate: 5.8% Arable land: 20.44% Natural resources: oil & gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates. Agricultural products: rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca. Industry: tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood & wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles. Major exports: rice, fish, timber, garments, rubber.

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Holidays:

Giving food to monks is believed to be a way of gaining merit in this world & increases the likely hood of a better next life. Cambodian New Year: is in April & lasts at least 3 days. Victory Day: January 7 Labor Day: May 1 Feast of Ancestors: September 22 Independence Day: November 9 Water Festival: In November

Dress

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Most Cambodians dress casually with the exception of going to some formal events. Men wear short sleeved shirts made of light cotton or silk, cotton trousers of light color in order to keep cool. Women wear loose fitting tops & a sarong that is embroidered with gold threading. Men also wear these sarongs. They call it a sampot.

Food

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Rice is the staple diet. Fish is also easily obtainable & also quite important. Only in exceptional circumstances would one eat a meal without rice. Their neighbors Vietnam, Thailand & Laos also share the love for rice. They enjoy foods with sour & hot tastes. They eat different types of meats with their rice, too. A common condiment is fish sauce. Cambodians enjoy drinking tea, in between & often with meals. Coffee is also drunk, usually with condensed milk. Cambodians generally do not drink alcohol.

Gender Roles

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Women keep their maiden name after marriage, stating that she will not be losing her identity. Women generally "wear the pants" in a marriage. They bring up the children, run the home & take care of the family budget. The family riches, usually being the woman's jewelry, are also in the personal care of the lady.

Cultural Diffusion

The Khmer language was first written during the period of Indian influence. Their religion was also influenced by Indians. Their text is originally taken from Pali & Sanskrit of Indian's also. A lot of their beliefs & language were influenced from Indians. After the religion was abolished with everything else, Cambodians lost their way. The Vietnamese influenced a lot of their Buddhist religion. The French once influenced their education. Some of the language is similar to French. It was once a fluent language in Cambodia. Although mostly only elderly Cambodians can speak fluent french now. French was once a big influence though. Thai people have influenced Cambodians taste in food. The sour & hot foods. French bread is also very popular.

Physical Geography

-Borders the Gulf of Thailand, they fish a lot, so they eat a lot of fish. -May to November it is rainy & rainforest like. -December to April it is dry. -It is really hot there most of the time, so they have to wear clothes that are light & loose fitting.

Bibliography

Sheehan, Sean, and Barbara Cooke. Cultures Of The World: Cambodia. 2nd. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007.
www.culturalprofiles.net
traveldocs.com/kh/govern
kwintessenial.co.uk



Christianity