Due to the civil war which destroyed approximately ¼th of the country’s population, 70% of the present population in Cambodia is under the age of 30.
Theravada Buddhism is followed by 95% of Cambodia’s population.
Angkor Wat is the largest Vishnu temple in the world.
Angkor Wat was originally named “Vrah Vishnulok” – the sacred abode of Lord Vishnu.
The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘nagara’ meaning ‘holy city’. Vatika is Sanskrit word for temple.
The Sanskrit word “Nagara” (capital) was modified by the Cambodian tongue to Nokor and then to Angkor.
An estimated 4 to 6 million land mines are scattered around the countryside.
Some 40,000 Cambodians have been victims of land mines, one of the world’s highest number of amputees per capita, about 1 in every 275 people.
Land mines still claim 25 to35 victims per month, an improvement over 300 a month a few years ago.
Phnom Kulen, situated some 50 km north-east of Siem Reap, is considered by the Khmer people as the most sacred mountain in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The mighty Mekong River originates from high in Tibet, spans close to 500 km through Cambodia before entering Vietnam, at places as wide as 5 km.
The average per-capita income up until recently was $20 a month.
Due to the civil war, Cambodia now has one of the highest percentages of orphan children in the world.
It is still a widespread practice for young boys in Cambodia to become monks in a local Pagoda (shrine) for varying periods of time; it may be from a few days to a few months, or possibly many years, if not a lifetime. A monk’s life calls for certain discipline: begging alms without wearing shoes; eating daily before noon; always wearing the traditional Buddhist cloth, without any covering to the head; avoiding the association of women and learning the tenets of Buddhism.
During the civil war between 1975 and 1979, approximately 85% of the Monks were killed by the Khmer Rouge.
FROM HERITAGE STONE MAGAZINE
- An estimated US $20 million worth of Cambodia’s heritage has been stolen since 1988.
- An estimated US $million of Khmer antiquities are traded through one auction house a year.
- The antiquities trade deprives Cambodia of its patrimony and the world of important knowledge of its past.