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Angkor Guides : Siem Reap, Angkor, Cambodia. » Culture and Tradition

Culture and Tradition

The Cambodian people are made up by a grand majority of peoples, called Khmer. This term can bring up negative connotations because of the violent Khmer Rouge regime; but nevertheless the people go back far before that ever came to terms, they have inhabited the land for centuries. Along the same name, Khmer is the official language which is, if you must compare, a mixture of Chinese and Sanskrit with some influences from the neighboring country of Thailand and even from French language, as there was a period that France colonized the land.

Traditional arts and crafts are abundant in Cambodia. Sculptures, paintings and curving done with great care and attention. One can view such antiquities in market places, shop or museum.

The variety of arts and crafts are large in range and include such item as: silver and gold jewelry, wicker were furniture, fine hard wood furniture, silks, marble sculptures, high quality China, leather were and much of the products will be intricately carved especially the furniture, sculptures etc.

Unfortunately, much of these works completely ceased to during the Khmer Rouge dictatorship. Artisans ware forced to work in labor camps, where most of then painful deaths. Many arts and crafts also purposely.

Today there has been a revival, due to a great dearly restoration work, which has been initiated by foreign governments. Now many centers have been established to keep the ancient methods of the craftwork alive. You can see examples of this throughout the country. The 13th century saw the coming of Buddhism and in today’s Cambodia, some Christianity and Islam is even present. With all of these religions playing a role in the past, Cambodians are for the most part, Theravada Buddhists.