The mystery that Cambodia awakens in everyone who visits it is not comparable to any other place in the world. The Asian country keeps in its interior an immense ancient and recent history, which is still unknown to most of the planet, a people victim of a policy of extermination by its own government at the end of the 70s and that is gradually recovering the flight thanks, in large part, to the role played by tourism throughout the country.

Cambodia owes its name to the leader of a majority Hindu tribe in the area around the 1st century AD, Kambu Svayambhuva. Throughout its history, it hides a thousand and one exciting details that we summarize in the following 10 curiosities:

List of the 10 curiosities of Camoya

1 – Khmer or Khmer, the local language

The Khmer or Khmer language, the official language in the country, has the great honour of containing the largest number of letters in its alphabet in the world . Neither more nor less than 72 letters, of which “only” 32 are vowels. On the other hand, they only count from 0 to 5, in addition to the ten. From this number they are expressed in compositions as, for example, the expression of the number 8 is done with 5+3 and, another example, the number 19 is expressed as 10+5+4. It’s time to tune those mathematics…

2 – The importance of archaeology

The archeologists’ initial idea of restoring the Angkor temples and ridding them of the surrounding jungle is accelerating their disappearance. The reason is that the trees and the layer of vegetation that covered their walls protected them from erosion. By removing them, contrary to all belief, this protection is destroyed and their maintenance is condemned. The way to save the archaeological site is currently being studied. It is likely that a natural environment similar to the original will be invented.

3 – Traits of their culture

Since it is the most important part of the body and a sign of wisdom, it is considered an offense to touch people’s heads and shoulders. This can be very annoying to the recipient as it is not understood there as a friendly sign at all. It is also very bad manners to sit showing the soles of your feet to others. One should always sit with shrunken legs.

4 – Curiosities in the Angkor

In 1923, the French minister André Malraux was caught in the act trying to steal some of the most valuable statues of the Angkor complex, more specifically the Banteay Srei temple, better known as “the citadel of women “. On his arrival in Phnom Penh he was arrested and detained by the authorities.

5 – Cambodian genocide

During the well-known “Cambodian Genocide ” the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian guerrilla, exterminated 30% of the population during the 4 years of their regime. In order to ensure their domination and avoid rebellion, they focused their actions on those who considered “the hidden enemy”, anyone who demonstrated some kind of culture, i.e. priests, monks and any type of schooled person who could initiate or lead a revolt. In 1979, the Khmer Rouge were overthrown and their actions are currently being tried for crimes against humanity.

6 – Cambodian population

For the above reason, mainly, more than half of the current population in Cambodia is younger than 25 years . This is why it is easy to find large numbers of children and adolescents when visiting the country.

7 – Customs

To receive any object, must always be done with the right hand , the same as we will use to greet, as a sign of good manners and respect.

8 – History of bombardments

During part of the Vietnam War against the US, which also affected Cambodia between 1969 and 1973, the country received more bombardments than during the entire Second World War, counting both sides.

9 – History of Angkor Wat

37 years were used in the construction of Angkor Wat. It has now been estimated that it would take about 350 years to do so using the same methods. There is a whole series of theories about the perfection and symmetry of Cambodia’s main temple…

10 – The main curiosity!

… The main curiosity lies in mathematics and solar and lunar cycles. The unit of measurement used in the construction of Angkor Wat was in “hat”, equivalent to the measurement of an elbow, just over 40 cm . What is really curious is that the length of the outer walls is 12 times 365 hat coinciding with a solar year divided into their corresponding months. It is more curious to know that drawing a circumference with origin in the center of Angkor that passed through the four vertices of the walls, this one would measure 24 times 365 hat. In this case it coincides with a lunar year for its 2 cycles. Experts continue to study Angkor’s relationship with numbers since there are many curious coincidences in this regard.

Reference: The solar numbers in Angkor Wat

So much for our curiosities about the Asian country, still unknown to many people.

What did you think of these curiosities about Cambodia?

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