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by Orient-Express
La Résidence d'Angkor

Khmer Culture

The national language of Cambodia is Khmer.

Stone sculpting, wood carving, silver work and the weaving of textiles are among the handicrafts produced by Khmer artisans.

The Ramayana is the classical dance of Cambodia. Based on an epic poem of great religious importance to the Hindus, the story has been set to music and dance and performed for over two centuries.  Dancers are dressed in silk tunics and wear golden headdresses that accentuate their slow, elegant movements.

One of Cambodia’s traditional music ensembles is known as the pinpeat. Dating back to the Angkor era, this orchestra is composed of instruments including bamboo xylophones, gongs and thimbles among others.  Today its music is commonly heard during feast days. 
Cambodian or Khmer cuisine is known for its rich flavours.  It is often compared to Thai cuisine, but is less spicy. Curries and stir-fries are served alongside rice, the country’s staple food.  Noodles are also popular, but are mostly served as a soup for breakfast or as a snack.  The aromas of lemongrass, coconut milk and tamarind are ever-present in most Cambodian meals.

The state religion of Cambodia is Theravada Buddhism.  However, Hinduism, popular in the Khmer Empire during the time of Angkor, still shows its influence.


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