By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon today Features
The next stop for our journey across the world lands in the beautiful country of Cambodia. There’s a lot to learn about this vibrant country that has been a melting pot of multiple cultures coming together and making a very unique cultural identity to the country.
Much like Sri Lanka, Cambodia is a country with a majority Buddhist population and Buddhism is also the official state religion of the country.
One of the most impressive ancient Buddhist temple complexes and is a world heritage site located in Cambodia.
Of course, that’s not all there is to see in the country. So let’s get started and take a deep dive in the country.
Cambodia is a country that is a lot larger than Sri Lanka but has a lot of similarities to the island country. Located near the equator, it is also a tropical country. However, only one border of the country opens up to the ocean.
The country has a monsoon season, meaning there is more rain in some times of the year as the climate changes.
According to the International Development Research Centre and the United Nations, Cambodia is considered as one of the countries that will be most affected by climate change in South-East Asia. There are a lot of challenges faced by the country even today, with flooding, mudslides, rising sea levels and destructive storms constantly affecting the country and its people.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s all doom and gloom in Cambodia. The country is rich in biodiversity and has plenty of lush tropical rainforests.
However the rainforests are dwindling due to deforestation, which is something that is to be worried about.
Cambodia is a country where a majority of its population relies on agriculture for its economic growth. However, industrialisation is steadily increasing, which has brought on steady economic growth. It also has an increasing tourism industry. However, that has changed after the past two years’ COVID-19 pandemic.
Even so, poverty in Cambodia is steadily decreasing, which is a good thing for the people and their lives.
People and culture
Cambodian culture has formed with Buddhist, Hindu, Angkorian and French Colonial influences. Of course, a generous heap of modern globalisation has also been an influence.
The country has a long-standing civilisation that has existed many thousands of years ago. One such civilisation is the Khmer empire, whose remnants are what we now know as Angkor Wat, which is a pristinely preserved ancient city complex with ancient temples that is a treasure trove of Khmer architecture.
The ancient nation of Cambodia has many similarities to Sri Lanka’s cultural identity thanks to shared roots in Theravada Buddhism. Similarities in language, record-keeping and even greetings can be discovered with a little research.
However, modern day Cambodia has suffered much after the French colonisation, Japan’s invasion during the second world war and also much collateral damage from the Vietnam war. Although the country is on the road to make a comeback, the road ahead isn’t easy.
Needless to say, there’s too much to say about what Cambodia has to offer. The rich vibrant nation that sadly has had its dark periods and is trying to get back on its feet. There’s so much to talk about this gorgeous country that we have a lot in common with, so make sure to do some reading on your own to learn more about the country.