10 Interesting Facts About Cambodia

Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country surrounded by Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Cambodia has a constitutional monarchy but a unitary parliamentary type of government. The capital city is Phnom Penh. Here are some very interesting facts about Cambodia that you may not be aware of-

Cambodia Flag

Interesting Facts About Cambodia

#1: Historical Facts

  • Kampuchea is the official name used by the royal government of Cambodia which derived its name from the Sanskrit word Kambuja the kingdom was once known as Khmer empire.
  • The world famous Tonle Sap River also known as reversing river is found in Cambodia. Its unique feature is that though it is a lake it changes into a river during the monsoon period which is quite fascinating.
  • PolPot was a revolutionary communist Cambodian leader who was responsible for the death of thousands of Cambodians during his reign.

#2: Flag

Cambodian flag has a unique identity. It was designed as late as in 1850 with the depiction of a building-Angkor Watt in the center. The flag was initially abandoned but was readopted again. Angkor Watt is a world famous religious monument which derives its name from the Sanskrit word temple city. The monument is based on Hinduism though Buddhism is practiced by 95% of the population

#3: Festivities

The royal ploughing ceremony and the water festival are a few unique festive events. The royal ploughing ceremony as the name indicates includes the royal king, queen and the royal oxen with the men and women dressed traditionally in bright colored costumes. The annual boat racing festival or the water festival is also a three day national festival

#4: Customs

White is a color of mourning and so is not used in any form of gifting. Birthdays are not celebrated here as most of the older people do not even know their birth dates.

#5: Costume

women dancing, wearing sampot

women dancing, wearing sampot Photo by Beth Kanter

The traditional costume is known as the Sampot and a checked scarf called Krama. Some Cambodians still wear the traditional dresses with a Buddha pendant on a necklace.

#6: Economy

The economy is dominated by wet rice agriculture. Tourism and textile industry are the two major income generators

#7: Language

The official language in this region is Khmer and French is second widely spoken next to English.

#8: People

Life expectancy is almost only 50 years. Half the population is less than 15 years old

#9: National flower

Romduol is a small yellowish white flower with an attractive fragrance generally compared to the Cambodian women for its unique scent.

#10: Dance

Apsara dance photo

Apsara dance – Photo by oldandsolo

The Cambodian dance is categorized as classical, folk and vernacular. An ancient dance known as the Apsara dance or the royal ballet is one of the main symbols of Cambodia.

Few more Interesting facts about Cambodia:

# Entertainment: Apart from usual other form of entertainment, shadow theater was the most enjoyable among the Cambodians. There are three most popular shadow theater performances.

#Sport: Football is a popular sport other than the traditional martial arts like kickboxing and wrestling. The Cambodian football team has been a member of FIFA since 1953.

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