Everybody is going to Cambodia, it is a saying among the expats in the country today. The image of a tourist destination replaced that of a country associated with past conflicts and poverty. It is now a land of opportunities for people from around the world. Although the Khmer is one of the most difficult Asian languages for Westerners, the reality is that Cambodians are willing to learn English and other foreign languages to communicate with the rest of the planet.
You can live in the modern descendant land of one of the most important civilizations of East Asia. A people that dominated the region between the 1st and 15th centuries as Funan, Chenla, the Khmer Empire (Angkor) and, finally, the Kingdom of Cambodia with its modern history of constructions and destruction and yet hope and inspiration. You can take the challenge to learn how to speak Khmer, one of the oldest world living languages made of Sanskrit and the longest alphabet of the world (33 consonants + 28 vowels!) Read More…
Traveling through Asia and in countries like Cambodia, you meet in Chinese or Tao temples the statues of three old men at the altar:
This picture was taken at the Dragon of the Mountain Taoist Temple on Bokor Mountain, Kampot. At the center of the altar we find the Sanxing, in Chinese means “Three Stars”. Following the Chinese way of reading from right to left, the first one is Fu, the one of the middle is Lu and the last one at the left is Shou. Who are these three venerated men? They represent prosperity (Fu), status (Lu) and longevity (Shou). This veneration is traced from the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Read More…
- Cambodians think that there are too many migrants, Muslims and Christians in the country and that 33 % of Cambodians are working abroad. These wrong perceptions can come from lack of information or bias.
“Perceptions are not reality” is the slogan of the 2015 survey by Ipsos MORI’s on Perils of Perception in 33 countries of the six continents, excluding Cambodia. The study asked questions such as obesity, non-religious, immigration, 25-34 living with parents, average age, population aged under 14, female politicians, female employment, rural living and internet access and built a table – the index of ignorance – from the least to the most accurate countries in their perception over those realities. Ipsos MORI chose the two Asian giants, India and China for the research, discovering that India is the second least accurate country after Mexico, and China got a good place: 25 out of 28, overcome by Poland, Ireland and South Korea.
- There are about 20,000 Roman Catholic Christians in modern Cambodia representing the 0.15% of the total population that is mostly Buddhist.
- Although Protestant churches state that they made the 2% of the Cambodian population with about 1,000 worship places in the country, their number is not official and they could be less than 10,000.
- The second largest religious group of Cambodia is Muslims represented in the Cham minority that could be much largest than all Christians combined.
Cambodia is one of those few countries with a State Official Religion according to its Political Constitution: Theravada Buddhism:
“Cambodian Citizens of both sexes shall have the right to belief. The freedom of religious belief and practices shall be guaranteed by the State on condition that they do not affect other beliefs, orders and public security. Buddhism is the State religion.” (Art. 43)