khmer-culture-traditions

Have questions or resources regarding Khmer Culture? This forum is all about the Kingdom of Cambodia's culture. Khmer language, Cambodian weddings, French influence, Cambodian architecture, Cambodian politics, Khmer customs, etc? This is the place. Living in Cambodia can cause you to experience a whole new level of culture shock, so feel free to talk about all things related to the Khmer people, and their traditions. And if you want something in Khmer script translated into English, you will probably find what you need.
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juansweetpotato
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khmer-culture-traditions

Post by juansweetpotato » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:13 pm

I Found this article interesting;
http://www.buildyourfuturetoday.org/bft ... raditions/

Good general overview.
Birth and death rituals
The birth of a child is a happy event for the family. According to traditional beliefs, however, confinement and childbirth expose the family, and especially the mother and the child to harm from the spirit world. A woman who dies in childbirth—crosses the river (chhlong tonle) in Khmer is believed to become an evil spirit. In traditional Khmer society, a pregnant woman respects a number of food taboos and avoids certain situations. These traditions remain in practice in rural Cambodia, but they have become weakened in urban areas.

Death is not viewed with the great outpouring of grief common to Western society; it is viewed as the end of one life and as the beginning of another life that one hopes will be better. Buddhist Khmer usually are cremated, and their ashes are deposited in a stupa in the temple compound. A corpse is washed, dressed, and placed in a coffin, which may be decorated with flowers and with a photograph of the deceased. White pennant-shaped flags, called “white crocodile flags,” outside a house indicate that someone in that household has died. A funeral procession consisting of an achar, Buddhist monks, members of the family, and other mourners accompanies the coffin to the crematorium. The spouse and the children show mourning by shaving their heads and by wearing white clothing. Relics such as teeth or pieces of bone are prized by the survivors, and they are often worn on gold chains as amulets. If the child is always ill, his or her parents can go and change the name of child...
"Can you spare some cutter for an old man?"
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by StroppyChops » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:23 pm

So are the older girls with shaved heads and dressed in white mourning widows or temple acolytes?

Asked elsewhere, but what's an appropriate gift for the birth of a child to someone you have very little connection with, but still want to make an effort? Fruit? Lexus?

Further, what are the traditions and gift expectations for an expat friend becoming engaged to a Khmer girl?
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by juansweetpotato » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:29 pm

StroppyChops wrote:So are the older girls with shaved heads and dressed in white mourning widows or temple acolytes?

Asked elsewhere, but what's an appropriate gift for the birth of a child to someone you have very little connection with, but still want to make an effort? Fruit? Lexus?

Further, what are the traditions and gift expectations for an expat friend becoming engaged to a Khmer girl?
I have no idea, but fruit seems to feature a lot. I guess you could calculate the fruit cost divided by worthiness level. If you really want to impress buy them some of those $40 p. kg satsumas I saw them selling just before Phcum Ben.

That reminds me, some gossip about that ; in PB people buy more expensive food depending on how bad the person was when he was alive. If they were really nasty you need to buy expensive stuff to allow them to rise up and join the circle of rebirth. Not come back as a dog. Don't know how true it is.
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by StroppyChops » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:41 pm

juansweetpotato wrote:That reminds me, some gossip about that ; in PB people buy more expensive food depending on how bad the person was when he was alive. If they were really nasty you need to buy expensive stuff to allow them to rise up and join the circle of rebirth. Not come back as a dog. Don't know how true it is.
Clearly you haven't met the neighbours yet.
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by PSD-Kiwi » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:42 am

StroppyChops wrote:So are the older girls with shaved heads and dressed in white mourning widows or temple acolytes?
Dunno what they're properly called, but "temple acolytes" works, older women, normally unmarried or widowed, with little to no family, commit themselves to religion and service at the Wat in support of the Monks.

Family members and spouses will sometimes shave their heads for the mourning period after the death of a partner/close family member.

StroppyChops wrote:Asked elsewhere, but what's an appropriate gift for the birth of a child to someone you have very little connection with, but still want to make an effort? Fruit? Lexus?
Fruit or the tinned sterilized milk, and money in the envelope at the party.
Username Taken wrote:But, err, the same as when you visited the friend in hospital. Nestle's Bear brand sterilized milk. And half a smile.
StroppyChops wrote:Further, what are the traditions and gift expectations for an expat friend becoming engaged to a Khmer girl?
Money in the envelope at the engagement party.
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Re: RE: Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by prahkeitouj » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:56 am

PSD-Kiwi wrote:
StroppyChops wrote:Further, what are the traditions and gift expectations for an expat friend becoming engaged to a Khmer girl?
Money in the envelope at the engagement party.
No, formally , we don't need to give them the gift or money in the envelope for their engagement. We just join is enough for them.
We do it only for wedding day.
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by PSD-Kiwi » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:52 am

I realise engagement paries are not common between Khmer couples in Cambodia, but if they do have an engagement party, then you would normally put money in the envelope to help cover the costs right, same with any party.
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by prahkeitouj » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:23 pm

PSD-Kiwi wrote:I realise engagement paries are not common between Khmer couples in Cambodia, but if they do have an engagement party, then you would normally put money in the envelope to help cover the costs right, same with any party.
No! We don't need to put money in the envelope or any gift. We don't need to help them because it is not normal to give them the gift or money even they have a big party. They just invite us to be a witness in their engagement.
កុំស្លាប់ដូចពស់ កុំរស់ដូចកង្កែប
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by PSD-Kiwi » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:57 pm

It appears we have strayed from the OP, so last off topic post from me...

Prahkeitouj, I am only speaking from my experiences. Most Khmer couples I know who have gotten engaged did not have a party for it, I have only been to one Khmer-Khmer engagement party and I have been to a few Khmer-Foreigner engagement parties. When the invites were sent out, they were accompanied by an envelope, and everyone who attended the parties gave the envelope with money inside as a gift (which helps to cover the costs of the party)...same as all the weddings, house warmings, new born baby and birthday parties I have been to.
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Re: khmer-culture-traditions

Post by prahkeitouj » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:43 pm

I see, but it is strange that everyone gave the gifts and envelopes to them. I don't know foreign culture,but I have a friend engaged with an English guy. My friend told me that if we put money in the envelope or give them the gift, the couple won't be lucky in their love life. I always asked my mum why we don't give the gift for them? My mum told me that they just want us to be a witness of their engagement . that's why many people don't do a big party on their engagement or not engage , just marry.
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