Cambodia is a country with a lot of fascinating things. From the fact that it changed its name with every new government, to the belief that birthdays aren’t even a thing. Next, the belief that listening to crickets can help you find out who you’re going to marry one day, there’s enough in this country to make you question their well being, and perhaps your own rituals and idiosyncrasies. Sounds fascinating? Read this article for more information.
Cambodia is still succeeding in straddling the line between popular tourist spot and unexplored eastern destination. Despite Thailand’s tourists to the west, enclaves such as the deep north and the wild Cardamom Mountains remained off, visitors now gradually exposing their tribal villages and ancient Khmer temples. Here are some interesting facts that you should know before visiting the country.
Cambodia or Kampuchea?
In 1953. It is originally known as the “Kingdom of Cambodia” as the country has gone through five names. Finally, the original name which is “Cambodia” was fixed. The country’s name has changed with each new ruling power. With each new power, the country’s name has changed. “The Khmer Republic” and “The People’s Republic of Kampuchea” are among the other titles that occupied the public’s attention. The name “Cambodia” has achieved some consistency since 1993, and is unlikely to change again.
Angkor Wat Temple.
Cambodia is home to the world’s largest religious building. The spectacular temple of Angkor Wat, representing the abode of the ancient gods of Hinduism. This is heaven on earth literally and the jewel in the Khmer archeological crown. It is one of the largest temples in Cambodia, and one of the best preserved. The temple comprises of three segmented galleries and five towers shaped like lotus buds.
The Angkor Wat is surrounded by an immense rectangular reservoir and a 3 km long outer wall. Such is the national identity in the site shown on Cambodia’s national flag by the temple outline. Although in the 16th century the temple was somewhat neglected, Angkor Wat is unique as it has never been completely neglected. The safeguards has protected the temple from the invasive jungle.
Cambodia Funeral Traditions.
Cambodia’s official religion is Buddhism. Around 97% of the population follows the Theravada Buddhism. They believe in the death and rebirth cycle and see death as the culmination of a life cycle rather than the end of life. There are several superstitions that keep the body safe from animals. If the deceased hears an animal weeping, one superstition is that their spirit binds to that animal. Furthermore, another superstition is stay away from the cat and not allowing a cat to leap over the dead body. For the preparation of the body, the family members of the deceased wash and place the body in the coffin surrounded by flowers and the deceased photos. White flags, known as white crocodile flags, may be hung outside the home to show the death of someone who lived there.
Next, the body will not embalmed or dissected as it may have a negative impact on the process of rebirth. Traditionally, the body is kept for seven days at home, but it is generally just three days today. In the evening, the monks will recite the sermons for the deceased. After 3 or 7 days (depending on the deceased family), there will be a Cambodian funeral procession to the crematorium. On the other hand, if the deceased has an older sister, some families prefer the oldest daughter to drop coins behind her back during the procession. Besides that, women are also not supposed to wear makeup because it is disrespectful to the family of the deceased.
After the cremation, all the ashes and bones are collected and cleaned. They may be placed inside a temple close to Buddha and the monks in a stupa to help start the cycle of rebirth. They may also transform them into a bracelet to demonstrate the love and belief that they are watched over by their deceased loved one. While, some families choose the remains to be kept at home.
Cambodia is really a country of great interest to the traveler. Tourists can see beautiful scenery and many interesting places, meet with friendly people and learn more about Khmer culture as well. If you are traveling to Cambodia, this is the best thing to experience.
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