Khmer Culture

  • Marriage
    • After marriage the male typically goes to live in the woman’s family home
  • Cambodian Family Structures
    • Arranged marriage does still exist here. It was more prominent before the Pol Pot regime. People are normally consulted now prior to being paired up.
    • In the Buddhist religion finding a spouse is the responsibility of the parents
  • Traditional Healers
    • This is a dying practice in Cambodia. The elderly population are still firm believers. It is the thought of having bad air in the body and at home treatments such as coining or cupping are done to release the bad air.
    • They use herbs and skins of trees
  • Buddhist Belief (khamar)
    • If you do good you receive good and if you do bad you receive bad
      • Belief in past life and next life
      • There is a belief that if someone has a disability that they did something bad in their past life. Ex. If they cut an animals leg then they have a leg disability
  • Maternal Health Beliefs
    • Wearing hats after birth keep the body hot which is due to the belief that the body is weak after birth
    • Roasting- fire under the bed and laying on the bed. Makes the body warm. Typically practiced for one or two months after birth
    • Khmer bracelet or necklace for baby- thought to keep away bad spirits and stop crying
      • Knives and scissors- put over the baby’s hat to keep away bad spirits and stop crying
  • Pchum Ben Holiday 
    • 15 days long
    • Lunar month- Phak Tror Bott- celebrated during the moon’s dark time
    • Pchum means gathering or getting together
    • Ben- ball of rice- offered to soul of the dead “Preat”
    • Traditional Khmer cake- numbonsom and ansomcek

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