Asia

Cambodia

Country

Capital

Cambodia's capital is Phnom Penh.

Cambodia is a south-east Asian country with an area slightly smaller than Victoria.

Geography

Climate

Cambodia's tropical climate combines a dry season (November to May) and monsoonal or heavy rains (May to November) and is little seasonal temperature variation.

People

Population

Cambodia's population in 2012 was 14,864,646, the male population was 7,250,424 and the female population was 7,614,222.

Religion

Over 95% of Cambodia's population are Buddhists.

There are also small numbers of Christians and Muslims.

In 1979 Buddhism was reinstated as the official religion.

Customs/Beliefs

In the mornings it is a common procedure for Buddhist monks to go from house to house to collect offers for the temples in order for Cambodia's population to find spiritual healing.

Bonn Chaul Chhnam (Khmer New Year)

Monday, April 15th, 12am to Wednesday, April 17th, 11:45pm

Cambodia

The New Years Festivals spans over three days after the end of harvest season. Khmers clean and decorate their houses with altars for offerings. This is followed by traditional games such as Angkunh, Chaol Chhoung, Leak Kansaeng and tug of war.

HM the King’s birthday

Monday, May 13th, 12am to Wednesday, May 15th, 11:45pm

Cambodia

The newly appointed King His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodaom Sihamoni celebrates his birthday with a three day public holiday.

Bonn Dacca Ben & Bonn Pchoum Ben (The Spirits Commemoration Festival)

Tuesday, Sep. 24th, 12am to Tuesday, Oct. 8th, 11:45pm

Cambodia

The Spirits Commemoration Festival is held for the spirits of the dead. During this celebration, if departed souls do not find their family making an offering at a Wat, it is believed that the soul is cursed and will bother the descendent throughout the year.

Bonn Om Touk (The Water Festival)

Saturday, Nov. 16th, 12am to Monday, Nov. 18th, 11:45pm

Cambodia

The Water Festival marks the reversing of the current in the Tonle Sap river and ushers in the fishing season.The festival that draws tens of thousand of people to the river banks and consists of people watching longboat races, fireworks and a lighted flotilla of boats under the full moon.

Language

Cambodia's national language is Khmer.

History Highlights

1863-If the French hadn't declared Cambodia their protectorate Cambodia would be split among Thailand and Vietnam.

1953-Cambodia gained independence from France and under King Sihanouk, it becomes the Kingdom of Cambodia.

1975-The Khmer Rouge regime seized power. They would murder approximately one fifth of their own citizens in a mad frenzy of violence. Hundreds of thousands of the educated middle-classes were tortured and executed in special centres. Others starved, or died from disease or exhaustion.

December 2001-A bridge across the Mekong River linking east and west Cambodia opens for the first time.

Economy

Cambodia's population uses the US dollar.

Cambodia is the one of the world's poorest nations with 77% of Cambodian's population living on less than US$2 a day.

All though it took time Cambodia's economy improved significantly after the civil war during 1975-1978.

International aid also plays an important part in Cambodia's economy growth by the country being able to re-build infrastructure and promote the country for tourism with their funds.

The two main industries that are helping improve Cambodia's economy are the garment industry and tourism.

The farming industry is what supports Cambodia's economy with the main crop being rice, as well as livestock (cattle, poultry and hogs) and fish.


Education

Six years of primary education is now compulsory but still girls attendance is poor especially in secondary school.

Teachers' wages are low meaning that most of the time the education is poor as well.

Living Coniditions

Most people in Cambodia live in a small dwelling house on stilts, made from wood or bamboo.

They also live in houses which hold multigenerational families.

Most people live in villages of 100 to 400 families.

Their staple diet consists of only rice and fish which is their only source of protein.

The events of the 1970s seem to continue to have an impact on family life.

The one-fifth of households that are now headed by woman are more likely to suffer economic hardship and, as a consequence, malnutrition and premature death.

All though progress has been made to address health issues the lack of safe drinking and sanitation means Cambodians face lots of diseases including tuberculosis and malaria.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) are also an issue.

Natural Resources

A diverse range of forest types, such as evergreen, deciduous and mangroves.
There is a wide range of gems in Cambodia, such as aquamarine, sapphires, white and smoky topaz and quartz.

One other natural resource is Cambodia's marine life.


Environmental Issues

As a result of Phnom Penh becoming bigger and more populated there is more sewerage and no where to dispose it.
A part of Phnom Penh becoming bigger is their industry is developing and therefor more hazardous waste has to be disposed into the environment.
Cambodia relies heavily on lakes and rivers to filter their water and recently migrants are coming to live in Cambodia's flood prone areas it's making it harder to dispose sewerage.
Also the developing of the country is leading to more logging and forestation which impacts heavily on the environment.
There is also a lot stripping of the mines going on in Cambodia as well as their freshwater being degraded by sedimentation.