Kids from Cambodia

  • Continent: Southeastern Asia
  • Climate: Tropical. Monsoon season runs from May to November
  • School:
    • Only about 45% of Cambodian kids finish elementary school. The figure is much lower for children who live in rural villages.
    • Cambodian children study math, history, geography, science, Khmer (Cambodia's official language), English, and French, as well as art, music, and dance. Most students wear uniforms.
    Play:
    • Leak Kon Saeng is a popular game in Cambodia. The game is similar to “duck duck goose,” but instead of tapping a person on the head, the player who is “it” places a knotted piece of cloth behind the “goose.”
    • Older children enjoy ang kunh. An ang kunh is an oval-shaped seed. Two teams stand about 10 feet apart and place three to five ang kunh in a semicircle. Each team tries to knock down the other team’s pieces by tossing an ang kunh.
    Family:
    • Many Cambodians live with members of their extended families. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins may live in the same home. The extended families often work together as well.
    • Cambodian parents usually give their children symbolic names that rhyme with the name of another family member.
    Favorite food:
    • Rice and fish! Cambodians eat rice at every meal. It is served fried, steamed, or in the form of noodles. Fish is eaten fresh, dried, smoked, or as a paste called prahok and is spiced with hot peppers, lemon grass, or mint. Cambodians even use rice in desserts. They combine it with fruit and coconut milk to create a sweet treat.
    Interesting animal:
    • The kouprey, a wild forest cow, is known for its long, curving horns. One of the rarest animals in the world, the kouprey is Cambodia's national animal.
  • Unique holiday: Bonn Om Teuk, or water festival, is celebrated in November at the end of the rainy season when the water of the Mekong River begins to recede. Cambodians hold rowing races on the river during the festival.
  • Did you know? Thousands of tourists travel to Cambodia each year to visit the temples at Angkor Wat. The temples were built in the 12th century.

For more information, go to the Fact Monster page about Cambodia.


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