Sociology Index

Social Customs And Traditions In Cambodia

Social Customs And Traditions

Family Customs in Cambodia

Most of Cambodia's population live in rural areas as farmers. In the countryside, houses are made up of palm leaves and bamboo and are usually built on stilts to protect them from floods that occur annually. A rural village is made up of a group of houses that center around a Buddhist monastery (wat). City life for the poor, is like life in the country, except that tremendous crime and unsanitary conditions must also be taken into effect. Social standing is reflected by material possessions, which is apparent in wealthy and middle-class Cambodian lifestyles. In the rural areas, clothing is simple and material possessions are hard to come by. Women tend to wear cotton shirts with ankle length skirts (saving their sampots for religious festivals).

Men and women both wear a krama, a multipurpose cotton garment. It can be used as a head covering, loincloth (for bathing), and as a bag for carrying items. In the city, Cambodians usually wear Western clothing. About 90% of Cambodians are Khmer. Vietnamese comprise 5% of the population, Chinese 1%, and 4% are other ethnicities, including Cham Muslims. Ninety-five percent of Cambodians follow Theravada Buddhism. The Khmer practice a blend of Buddhism and animism. Family is extremely important. Many have lost family members in Cambodia, and a significant number of households are headed by females due to the civil war. Extended family structures are the norm, with large numbers of children. Grandparents head the family, followed by parents, aunts and uncles. Families are patriarchal, with men as providers and women in traditional roles, their position reinforced by culture, religion, and gender. Children are taught respect and deference to adults and authority figures.


Culture and Customs of Laos
by Arne Kislenko

A must-have for high school and public library shelves, this volume reveals contemporary culture and traditions in Laos.
This all-encompassing volume offers a comprehensive look at the contemporary culture that defines this Southeast Asian country of Laos, examining everything from Buddhist traditions to Laotian cuisine. Coverage includes a brief history of the nation followed by in-depth narrative chapters on religion, literature, visual and performing arts, fashion, gender roles, everyday social customs, and more.