1. Don't Touch the Head especially to someone older than you, as the head is the holiest part of the body and it is very considered rude and an act of disrespect.
2. Bend Before your Elders: When an elder is seated, and you have to walk past them it is customary to bow your heads and stoop slightly as you cross their path as a sign of respect.
3. Use Both Hands : Unlike is some countries where the left hand is unused , here it is polite to use both when passing something over, and accepting something. It shows your full willingness to give and gratefulness to receive.
4. An Extended Family: When addressing those people older than you, you must called them "uncle, aunt, grandpa, grandma ...." as a respect.
5. Clasped hands together, bowing a bit to say “thank you".
Anyway, we Malaysian also followed this local customs.
You can find a lot of Buddhist Monks in Cambodia. I have high regards for the Buddhist Monk especially my blind Buddhist Monks in Baling. They are very helpful and giving advice and prayers.
And I have read an article of Buddhist Monks in Cambodia helped families affected with HIV/Aids.
Many people in Cambodia look forward to a get together with Family and friends. Members of family and friends may look for jobs in the city far away from hometown and during this Khmer New Year celebrations everyone comes back and have gathering around Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap for picnic.
Everyone looks so happy, laughing, dancing... I wish I could joined them.
At 11 mins after seven on the evening of Friday April 13, a dragon will lead an angel riding a buffalo from heaven, bringing the Khmer New Year to Cambodia. The angel - Kemera Devi or the Friday Angel, is one of seven daughters born on seven different days to a king of the gods. Each year, a different daughter ushers in each day of the New Year.
There is a story behind this New Year, I will write later.... so then, at every house in Cambodia people will make shrine by placing biscuits, fruits, face powder, juice and flowers to welcome the new angel. They will light candles and incense sticks and pray for the new angel to protect them and bring them prosperity.
On this Khmer New Year, a lot of shop closed for a weeks, as every Cambodian goes back home to celebrate New Year with family..
Walking alone, around the Buddhist Temple at Lolei, aaahh.. I found a cemetery, with a lot of spirit houses and Chinese Graves. Those markings on the graves must be belongs to Chinese, as on April 4th, marking the day for Chinese All Souls Day..
Cock fighting is a popular game in Cambodia enjoyed by all cambodians from the ancient times till today. Having seated in a tuk tuk facing backward, I have missed taking a lot of pictures, and the cock fighting picture is one.
The Sampot is the national dress of Cambodia. Its quite similar to Sarong Batik where Asean countries are wearing. My older family members are still wearing them, but I don't (don't want to get embarrassed if my sampot come off, hahaha) The sampot is a long piece of cloth in silk or cotton and with designs, and both end sewn together. They are wrapped and tied around the waist, and it can be worn by men and women. Even the Apsaras are wearing the Sampot.
Picture 1 : I met these two girls at Bakong temple, and they are wearing the sampot.
Picture 2 : Picture of Mr Dy Preung in tradisional sampot.
Picture 3 : Even the Apsara are wearing sampot.
I visited a Buddhist temple in Lolei and I came acrossed this unique erection of sand mounds on the temple grounds that representing holy burial grounds. Cambodian all dressed in new outfit came to offer prayers and will plant incense in the mounds and leave offering for loved one and family who have passed on to the next life and praying for their happiness and prosperity. Colourful decorations on the sand mould as you can see.
Many visitors to Cambodia may not know the presence of spirit house, many shrines are be seen everywhere in Cambodia. The Buddhist believe that leaving offerings at the spirit houses wishes luck in the next life for the recently departed. In doing so, they believed they will be blessed with good luck.
During the celebration of Khmer New Year, everyone will flock to the temple to offer thanks for Buddha and a lot of them came with some food cooked and kept in Tiffin carriers as offering for the temple monks. Buddhist believed, any food you give to the monks to eat, you will have the food in another life. :-))
It doesn't matter, if the food is too simple or too grand. As long, you are sincere..
In Cambodia, Buddhist monks are held in high regard, not only as religious leaders but for their traditional role of helping those most in need.
Young Buddhist Monks in the temple, they are not allowed to participate any entertainment or festivals. Its a pity, they could just see from the window like in my pictures.
A Karma is checked cotton scarf, mostly worn by men and women in the rural Cambodia. It can be used a turban on the head, as a towel and mostly used to protect from the sun, wind and dust. Use a Karma to protect your neck from sunburn when you ride on a tuk-tuk.. :-))
Picture 1 : Not a picture I like, to see people begging. :-(((
When you pass by the road, you’ll see the houses having similar structures. The houses are elevated and the base is supported by poles on each corner. Obviously, the houses are built on this way because of the tonle sap lake. The tonle sap lake is located in the center of Cambodia and the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. When we visited the “free exhibition”, we learned that the lake’s surface quadruples from 2700 Km sq. in the dry season to more than 12,000 km sq. in the rainy season which accounts for 7% of the area of Cambodia.
I wondered why the people have to endure living in places where the tonle sap lake is nearby or can reach them but after learning more about their culture… I finally understand. The tonle sap lake is a very important symbolic value for the Cambodian people which cultivates the Khmer natural heritage. Fishing is the primary way of living by the Khmer people and tonle sap lake has the richest freshwater fishing ground in the world.
Another Pic of the Magnificient Angkor Wat in daylight. The first Pic was taken as sunrise over the Angkor wat