Food for Thought, Thought for Action!


Animals and Plants as National Symbols of Cambodia


Photo: thavrakhuon.blogspot.com

1- គោព្រៃ= Kouprey (Bos sauveli): The National Mammal of the Kingdom of Cambodia

The Kouprey, an original Khmer species, has been recognized worldwide and named in Khmer version by international biologists even though English, Spanish and French call it Kouprey. Its scientific name is “Bos sauveli” with a size: HB: 2100mm-2300mm; H: 1700mm-1900mm and W: 700-900 kg. The Kouprey is similar to the gaur or banteng but they are unique in having a very long dewlap hanging from the neck, in old males almost reaching the ground. The bull and cow horns are distinctly different. In the bull Kouprey, the horns have cores which are closer together and considerably larger; the horns form a convex curve for the basal half of the horns, dropping below the base, then rising upward and forward, extending slightly above the head with split at the tips. The horns in the female are lyre-shaped, corkscrewing upward, the tips are never shredded, and the cores are thinner and farther apart than in the male. The lower legs of the Kouprey are white or grayish and dark grayish at old age. In the pre-war period, hunting of the Kouprey was prohibited by declaration No. 191 dated January 20, 1960. After the Pol Pot regime, hunting was again prohibited by declaration No. 359 dated August 01, 1994, issued by Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries. Kouprey was classified as a critical endangered species according to the IUCN Red List. International Trade of this species is banned, following Appendix I of the CITES Convention and Migratory Species Convention.

In the 1960s, the King of Cambodia identified and declared the Kouprey as the Cambodia natural heritage symbol. It has been written about in popular Khmer songs, especially some melodies, describing the richness of nature and the important of comparability of human, animals, and nature for peace and prosperity. Kouprey were often found in herds of 20 or more and also found with gaur, banteng or sambar deer. They are more intelligent, more industrious and more easily frightened than other species in their family and they are strong, agile, and good at smelling and fast moving. Kouprey can tolerate sunlight, low quality food and Bovine Spongiform Encephalop Pathy (SBP) diseases.

2- ត្រយ៉ង= Giant Ibis (Pseudibis gigantea): The National Bird of the Kingdom of Cambodia

The Khmer common name is “Tror Yorng or Kangor Yak or Aov Loeuk”. The scientific name is “Pseudibis gigantea” and English common name is “Giant Ibis”. Giant Ibis has dark grey-brown plumage, light red legs, curved downward bill and 104cm in body length. Hunting of Giant Ibis was prohibited by declaration No.359 dated August 01, 1994 issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It was classified as a critical endangered species according to the IUCN Red List. Giant Ibis is one of the species that in the past distributed almost throughout Southeast Asia, but at present tine it can only find in the North and Northeast parts of Cambodia. It has been written about in popular Khmer songs and Khmer traditional tales. Cambodia people had believed that Giant Ibis is very intelligent, if a fail hunting on them in any places, they will never come to those places for ever. Their bloods were traditionally used for malaria treatment in the isolated villages. It is a popular bird, people like them a lots, especially it’s morning calls that connected to the heart of Cambodian farmers for love introduction as well as for remaining that it is time for going to the fields. Continue reading


Senior Citizens: Cambodia & Australia

by an Australian Cambodian

My previous article ” What retired people pass their times” [prior to my silly mistake wiping out the entire web-site], drawn an interesting comment from Chanroeun and quote below:-

“Senior Citizens in Cambodia almost become servants to their children’s family. Some are still bosses in the house”

Before going into the above quote, I would like to draw the attention to the different in cultures and ways of life which may help us to understand more and gain the in-depth fact underline the meaning of direct and indirect contributions to the society by our Senior Citizens in both Australia and Cambodia.

Senior Citizens: Australia

The legal retired age here is 65 and 62 years old for men and women respectively, if I am not mistaken; [except for people served in the arm-force or police can retire earlier, or if one has accumulated enough wealth through their hard working life]; however, there is a government incentive scheme which encouraged people to work pas their retired age if they wish because population of Australia is now living a longer life [For your information, an oldest person under my care passed away 1 day after celebrating 108th birthday]; in fact Australia is now a nation of aging population. Continue reading

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Happy Coronation Day

King Norodom Sihamoni

អបអរសាទរខួបទី៤ ព្រះរាជពិធីគ្រងរាជសម្បត្តិ


នរោត្តម សីហមុនី


សូមព្រះអង្គ​ទ្រង់មាន​​ព្រះសុខភាពល្អ និង​ ព្រះជន្មាយុយឺនយូរ​ជាង​រយ​ព្រះវស្សា។

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Restoring Khmer Culture

ខ្មែរ​ពូជ​សាង​អង្គរ​វត្ត​, សិល្បៈ​ចម្លាក់, ក្បាច់​ផ្កា​ភ្ញី​។ល។ មាន​រាប់​រយ​រាប់​ម៉ឺន​សែន បាន​ដាក់​ឆ្លាក់​ទុក​ជូន​កូន​ខ្មែរ​ជំនាន់​ក្រោយ៕

អាន​ថា៖ ថៈនន ខាវសាន (ផ្លូវ​ខាវសាន)

អានថា៖ ថៈនន ស៊ីផង (ផ្លូវ​ស៊ីថង)

ចំណែក​នេះ​ស្លាក​សញ្ញា​បង្ហាញ​ផ្លូវ​មួយ​ កាត់​បន្ទះ​ដែក​ បាញ់​ថ្នាំ​ពណ៌ បាញ់​អក្សរ ទាញ​បំពង់​ទីប​ ដោត​ផ្លូវ ចប់។ Sic

found in Sopheak Website

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Cambodia World Heritage List

Date of acceptance of the Convention: Thursday, November 28, 1991

Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List


Properties submitted on the Tentative List

1. Angkor Wat


Date of Inscription: 1992
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Province Siem Reap
N13 26 E103 50
Ref: 668

Brief Description

Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings.

2.Preah Vihear Temple


Date of Inscription: 2008
Criteria: (i)
Core zone: 154.7 ha
Buffer zone: 2642.5 ha
N14 23 18 E104 41 2
Ref: 1224rev

Brief Description

Situated on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia, the Temple of Preah Vihear is dedicated to Shiva. The Temple is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800 metre long axis and dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century, when the hermitage was founded. This site is particularly well preserved, mainly due to its remote location. The site is exceptional for the quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation.

Outstanding Universal Value

The Temple of Preah Vihear, a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases on an 800 metre long axis, is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment.

Criterion (i): Preah Vihear is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture. It is very ‘pure’ both in plan and in the detail of its decoration.

Authenticity, in terms of the way the buildings and their materials express well the values of the property, has been established. The attributes of the property comprise the temple complex; the integrity of the property has to a degree been compromised by the absence of part of the promontory from the perimeter of the property. The protective measures for the Temple, in terms of legal protection are adequate; the progress made in defining the parameters of the Management Plan needs to be consolidated into an approved, full Management Plan.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage List