Rich cultural heritage

Meeting & Greeting in Cambodia

Greeting in CambodiaCambodians are an extremely hospitable and friendly people, though perhaps a little reticent to invite strangers into their home at first.

Among friends and relatives, however, frequent and unannounced visits are common.

If invited to someone’s house, expatriates can expect to be given the best seat in the house, as well as the best serving of food.

Sometimes, guests are greeted with a small bouquet of jasmine flowers, but this is not common anymore.

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Kickboxing Cambodia Style

Spectators at Cambodian kickboxing matchIn Cambodia three martial arts are practiced. The most popular is Bradal Serey, which is kickboxing, with nearly the same rules and style as Thai Boxing (Muay Thai). Bradal Serey is the national sport, and the television networks broadcast professional fights weekly.

Bokator (the Thai variation is called Muay Thai Boran, see below under ‘The Difference’) is an all encompassing ancient fighting art, includes punches, kicks, knees, elbows, grappling, ground fighting, and weapons. The practitioners fight without gloves. Their hands are wrapped with ropes or traditional krama scarves.

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Learn Khmer Online

The internet can be a great help to learn a language. Unfortunately, there are not many resources on the web for interactively learning the Khmer language. We have done extensive searching to provide you with some helpful tools to start learning Khmer, including one online interactive course.

To start getting used to the sound of the Cambodian language, view video’s on YouTube, we have included two videos below, but there are more available.

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Public Holidays and Festivals 2018

Fireworks during Water Festival in Phnom Penh

Here you’ll find the 2018 dates of official public holidays, religious ceremonies and other festivals in Cambodia.

Plus some links to online picture albums of Cambodian festivals.

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Khmer language

Khmer NumbersThough English is fast becoming the second language in Cambodia specially of younger Khmers, it is still great if you know a little of Khmer. It’s a great help in learning and gaining more understanding of Cambodian culture. And…, it goes a long way when you are bargaining in the markets!

The Khmer language has 33 consonants, 23 vowels, and 12 independant vowels. The placement of the vowels in written Khmer can be confusing at first; vowels may follow or precede the consonants, or they may go above or below, or some combination of before, after, above, or below.

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Pchum Ben: honouring the ancestors

Cambodian monk during Pchum Ben in Kratie, Cambodia

Bonn Pchum Ben is the festival held for commemoration of the spirits of the dead..

People take turns offering food to the monks of their local pagoda in the hope that their offering will reach the souls of their ancestors by virtue of the monks’ sermons.

Dates in 2017: September 19-20-21

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Khmer New Year Celebrations

Khmer New Year, watch out, notice the water filled plastic bag in the boys' hand

The Khmer New Year is one of the most important holidays in Cambodia. Also celebrated in Thailand and other Buddhist countries, these days are filled with water throwing at passers-by and other games. There are free concerts at night.

Dates in 2017: April 14-15-16

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Water Festival in Phnom Penh 2018

Illuminated floats - Water Festival - Phnom PenhThe annual three-day Water Festival competes with the Khmer New Year for being the most important holiday for Cambodians.

The boat races on the Tonle Sap and the carnival atmosphere ashore attract millions of people from all over the country.

Dates in 2017: November 2-3-4

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