Once upon a time, the Kingdom of Cambodia proudly bore the honorary title of "pearl of Asia". The long years of horrors and hardships of the war could not but affect the country.
At the present time, the nightmares of the past seem to have begun to leave Cambodia, and the country has reopened to the world, blossomed and began to look to the future with optimism.
Of course, the trouble has not yet completely passed the Cambodians. The country still reigns poverty, bordering on poverty. Most people go barefoot, many live in shabby houses with leaking roofs, crowds of homeless half-naked children, asking for money on the streets.
There are not just a lot of children in Cambodia, it seems that they have decided to make up for all the human losses of the bloody seventies - children give birth and give birth again. A child in Cambodia is a symbol of the future and hope for a nation that has gone through so much suffering.
With education, in such conditions, it is bad: only about forty percent of the country's population is literate. There are few old people here, Cambodians' life expectancy is low, and not many managed to simply survive.
A generation of people who are younger than Pol Pot's times and have not personally experienced the troubles of the past have already been born, but it is still almost impossible to find a family that would not have lost someone close and dear at that time.
However, the most incredible thing is that the faces of Cambodians continue to glow with genuine optimism. Fun and laughter are written on the faces of these skinny people. Perhaps the answer to the question of what makes them smile is simple: how not to love and appreciate life, when you remember that only recently human life was worth nothing.
What is the main thing in the life of a modern Cambodian? Craftsmen or traders, fishermen or farmers - all are united by one thing - their large and friendly family.
The concept of a family in Cambodia includes everyone, even the most distant relatives. Cambodians know the taste of the loss of dear and beloved people, so family values are inviolable here.
Cambodians tend to have a kind of community, they hold on to each other tightly. Religious values and traditions of Buddhism are mixed, without exaggeration, with the cult of the family. Every family custom, every ritual has a secret meaning. For example, consider a traditional Cambodian wedding.
The bride must dress up from night. Already early in the morning, before the exhausting heat of the afternoon began, the groom, with relatives and numerous friends, comes to the house of the chosen one.
Rituals, rituals, instructions, songs, dances - they seem to last endlessly in Cambodia. Marriage is a serious matter, so Cambodia does not spare the time for its preparation, for holding the ceremony itself.
Wedding dances, and indeed all Cambodian dances, are a real art. This is the height of grace, grace, and incomprehensible perfection of movements.
Family life is patriarchal. However, here you will not find any "oppression" of women by men. Buddhism shapes the reserved and calm character of Cambodians.
You will not find manifestations of anger and anger here, especially in relation to your spouse. Despite the fact that couples for their children are determined mainly by parents, understanding, tolerance and, ultimately, love reigns in almost any family.
Every Cambodian boy goes through a ritual of teaching Buddhist basics. At the age of sixteen, he leaves home to taste the delights of monastic life.
For several years the young man has been working hard, thinking, learning the secrets of being and learning humility. After such preparation, it turns out, including a good husband.
He will not show unnecessary care, he fusses, and it is not accepted to try to achieve something in life. You need to be content with little, with what you already have. However, reverence and respect, patience and careful treatment are guaranteed to any Cambodian wife.
In addition to religion and family, there is another very important thing in the life of a Cambodian - food. Unfortunately, it was not religion that taught the locals unpretentiousness in food, a terrible hunger worked here.
What not to see on the dinner table of a simple Cambodian family! In terms of food, the people of Cambodia show not hefty ingenuity and agility. Everything that moves, flies and crawls, and everything that grows, is perceived by Cambodians as food.
Insects: cockroaches, some kind of incomprehensible locusts, spiders - all this abundance will be served on the table by a good hostess. By the way, there is a special attitude towards spiders here - spiders are perceived as a delicacy, local residents arrange whole safaris, obtaining this nutritious product.
For dessert, residents eat fried bananas, the Cambodian's daily dish. Meat is practically not used for food. It is too expensive for the locals.
But many respectable family breadwinners spend whole days fishing, bringing an inexhaustible supply of protein to their home. There is one more dish - unchanged rice.
The whole food ration is not rich, but the main thing in Cambodia is not variety in food, the main thing is not to put children to sleep on an empty stomach. Despite everything, Cambodian families are very hospitable, such an interesting case.
A couple from England, vacationing in Cambodia, got lost and left behind a tour bus. They wandered for a long time in a small fishing village. As a result, when the poor fellows were completely desperate to find any help, a phone or at least where to eat, they decided to knock on the first house they came across.
All the inhabitants of the house ran out to greet the guests. The British tried for a long time to explain that they wanted to buy some food, but all attempts were useless, and then the owner of the house gestured them to go into a small room with a set table.
After some time, a breathless guide ran into the house and discovered the lost Englishmen. "Did you eat it all?" - he was surprised, - "This is a supply of food for several days for their whole family!"
The head of the family refused to take the money, arguing that they did not take money from the guests. The only thing we managed to do was to hand over inexpensive beads as a present to the wife of a hospitable Cambodian.