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Cambodia

Capital

Phnom Penh

Language

Khmer

Population

ab. 14,950,000 (2011)

National Flower

Narcissus

Religion

Mahayana Buddhism,
Theravada Buddhism

Currency

Riel

Location

Cambodia located in the Indochina Peninsula shares borders with Laos to the north, Thailand to the northwest, Vietnam to the southeast and the ocean coast to the southwest. Southern part faces Malaysia across the Gulf of Siam distantly. The whole territory is roughly a dish basin, surrounded by hills and mountains from three sides. Mekong River and its tributaries made a wide and rich flood plain spreading in the center for over 3/4 of national area.

History

Cambodia is an ancient country in Indochina with more than 2000 years of history. It was called Funan during Qin and Han Dynasties, known as Cambodia in Ming Dynasty. In 1st century ad, Funan Kingdom was established in the territory with Hinduism as state religion and influenced deeply by Indian culture. The state force had been weakening after 15th century and invaded by Vietnam thereafter. It was driven to be a French protectorate in 1863, conquered by Japan from 1941 to 1945, occupied by France in October 1945 and gained independence from France on 9th November 1953. In September 1955, Sihanouk was appointed as King of Cambodia. Afterward it had been through Sihanouk Kingdom, Khmer Republic (Lon Nol), Khmer Rouge Era (Pol Pot), Phnom Penh regime (Yokoyama forest) with three-parties coalition and the Supreme National Council (4 faction leaders). In 1993, United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) worked together with Supreme National Council to rebuild Cambodia and established new government “Kingdom of Cambodia” till now.

Major Festivals

1. New Year
Cambodia New Year is from April 14 to 16 every year. The birthday of Buddha (May 13th on Buddhist calendar) was the beginning of the ear. During new year, all temples around the country have to suspend the five-colored flag of Buddhism and alligator flag.
During the period of New Year, the temples around the country have to suspend the five-colored flag of Buddhism and alligator flag.

2. Royal Ploughing Ceremony
Royal Ploughing Ceremony on May 11 every year is a grand traditional festival in Cambodia. All the national government departments have a day off. Royal Ploughing ceremony is held in a particular "holy field" to simulate the laboring process of one year.

3. Water Festival (Bonn Om Tuk)
A three-day Bonn Om Tuk festival is held annually from October 31st to November 2nd to appreciate the blessing of the gods and the gifts of nature. During the Bonn Om Tuk festival, there are three major celebration activities - dragon boat racing, water lanterns and moon salutations.

4.¦buNükzin Festival
The ¦buNükzin Festival is from October 28 to November 28 on Buddhist calendar, one of the most solemn holidays for Buddhists in Cambodia. The monks hold one-month 加頂節 activities after the Lent of rain season.


Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of ChinaTaiwan New Immigrants Growth and Care Association