Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2020 Travel the World - Week 7

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Of course I couldn't stop, so this year I'm continuing with fifty more countries, one per week.

This week's country is...


Cambodia is largely a land of plains and great rivers and lies amid important overland and river trade routes linking China to India and Southeast Asia.

About one-third the size of France and somewhat larger than the U.S. state of Missouri, Cambodia is bordered to the west and northwest by Thailand, to the northeast by Laos, to the east and southeast by Vietnam, and to the southwest by the Gulf of Thailand. 

Although much of Cambodia is heavily forested, the central lowland region is covered with rice paddies, fields of dry crops such as corn (maize) and tobacco, tracts of tall grass and reeds, and thinly wooded areas.

The Cambodian flag depicts the main building of Angkor Wat. Together with the flag of Afghanistan, it holds the distinction of being one of only two state flags to feature a building.

Angkor Wat, built in the early 12th century is the world’s largest religious monument. The temple, unlike various other temples in its vicinity, faces the west – a direction that is associated with death. The norm at the time was to build temples pointing east.

More than two and a half million people in Cambodia live on less than $1.20 per day.

Cambodia is that it is one of the few countries which has never had a McDonalds. However, they do have a Burger King, KFC and their own McDonalds equivalent called: “Lucky Burger”.

KFC, the American fast food giant is losing money in Cambodia, which is the only country where they are not profitable.

Cambodia has the largest population of amputees in the world caused by landmines. Over 64,000 casualties related to landmines have been recorded since 1979. Almost half of the landmines are yet to be removed.

The average Cambodian funeral including the costs of the cemetery comes to around $9,000. This is a lot of money in a country where the average monthly salary is less than $100. Families usually have to group together their entire life savings and sell major possession in order to fund a loved one's funeral. The Cambodian funeral traditionally lasts over 49 days with the body preserved in the first 7. After 100 days, another prayer ceremony is typically held. This can be shortened to make it cheaper, but the longer it is done, the better for the deceased in the afterlife. The prayers and chants at each funeral ceremony are led by the monks who essentially play the lead role.

Cambodia has a very young population with around half of its population younger than 15 years old and a lack of people over the age of 50.

The Buddhist New Year is celebrated in April. To celebrate, people throw water on each other as well as talcum powder. This is their way of wishing each other good luck and a happy new year!
Cambodian weddings are big affairs, often lasting three days. The average age of marriage for a man in Cambodia is 25, and for women, 22!
Respect plays a huge role in Cambodian society, as elders are held in high regard. Family is also a first priority, with married couples moving into the wife’s parent’s home. With no social support system, children are expected to support their parents as they grow older.
Much like our daisy petal practice of "He loves me; he loves me not", Cambodian locals have their own charming belief. They count the chirps of a gecko, fiercely hoping for the outcome they’re looking for. The first chirp means you’ll one day marry a bachelor, the second means you’ll end up marrying a widower. Bachelor or widower, bachelor or widower, and so on and so forth.
Cambodia is home to a host of especially rare and endangered animal species. On the Mekong River, you’ll find the Irrawaddy dolphin and the Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle. The turtle is incredibly strange, so you know. The Cardamom mountains is home to an array of fauna and flora unique to Cambodia, and the Tonle Sap lake has an astounding amount of rare and exotic marine and bird life. Cambodia’s natural landscapes are also significantly under-researched, which means that there could be a bunch of species roaming the landscapes that are still under the radar.
The Tonle Sap is the largest salt water lake in Southeast Asia.
Cambodia has the only river in the world that flows in two different directions. Twice a year, Tonle Sap changes its flow direction, depending on the season: whether it’s the monsoon or dry season. Between November and May (dry season) the waters of Tonle Sap drain into the Mekong River. In June they are flowing in the opposite direction and come back to the lake.
In Cambodia, it is considered impolite to point the bottom of your feet towards someone. Additionally, it would be completely unacceptable to point your feet towards anything sacred, such as an image of Buddha.

I decided to let this Cambodia fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Traditionally, birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia particularly in the rural areas. Some older people may not even know their exact birth date and only recognize their birthday season.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: My Favorite Things Birthday Buddies stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Recollections Black and 110# White and SU Granny Apple Green CS and DP from my scrap file

Embellishments: CC Designs Enamel Dots


MiamiKel said...

I actually knew that about the birthdays thanks to a wonderful lady in our previous church! Your card is colored perfectly!

Donna said...

I really enjoyed reading through all your facts. It's super interesting to see what other cultures do. I'm surprised that funerals are so expensive there. Adorable card! Your Pure Innocence image is colored beautifully. Hope all is well with you!

kiwimeskreations said...

WOW - that funeral cost is more than here - but them they generally don't last that long here :). Loving your card Jeanette - the colours are fabulous together

Lynn McAuley said...

Well, we better know our birthdays and be able to prove it or life could get rough around here!! Thanks for these interesting facts!!

Sensational birthday card, too!!