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The Khmers' Proud and Noble Heritage

Cambodia is the most ethnically-homogenous country in Southeast Asia, with over 90% of the population boasting Khmer ethnicity.

The Khmers' long and proud heritage in Cambodia goes back to the beginning of recorded history (1st Century A.D.), centuries before their Thai and Vietnamese neighbors came to the region.

Khmers are unique and handsome in appearance. Distinct from their Southeast Asian neighbors, Khmers more closely resemble people from the Indian Subcontinent. This makes sense, as Cambodia was historically an important station on the Indian-Chinese trade route.

The Khmer's heritage in the region is evidenced in the Angkor temple complex: the famous stone faces with full, defined lips and broad, smiling eyes are clearly Khmer. These are the same faces that greet you in Phnom Penh and the banks of the Mekong today.

It's fascinating to see such distinct continuity between a group of people and their ancestors. Carved in stone, passed down through traditional dance and songs, and alive in the faces of the people, the Khmer's proud and noble heritage is immutable.



Posted on January 21, 2003 06:53 AM


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