Job Training Project




Adventure in
Kampong Cham
1 September 2009



The word "cham" in Cambodia in its most general sense denotes an ethnic group that has been prominent in the region for centuries. But because most of the Cham people are followers of Islam, today "Cham" normally means "Muslim" in the Khmer language and thinking.  Thus Kampong Cham Province is the one province with a high percentage of Muslim people although some Muslims can be found in quite a few of Cambodia's 24 provinces.  We passed through this Muslim village on the way to visit Huoy.

Externally the Muslim villages look and live much the same as the other villages of Cambodia.  The dress of the people, though, is a distinctive feature that easily identifies a Muslim area, with the women all wearing head scarves and many men wearing long flowing garments. A Muslim village
Probably not a lot of outsiders traverse this road in Kampong Cham, especially the barangs (foreigners, i.e., me) and this group of women talking with a women selling vegetables looked us over well as we passed through. Muslim women in the village
Village life is communal and out in the open, and throughout the day groupings of villagers, especially the women and children can be found talking and sharing the day's news.
Muslim women
The men in the villages tend to hang together, also when they are in from the rice fields and places of work. Muslim men and boys
A group of Muslim children taking notice of the strangers going through the village.  I was surprised that one of our group expressed the need to be clear of the Muslim village before dark on our return trip, as if there were some danger.  I don't know if that was just prejudice or if there is some friction between the Muslims and others in Cambodia.  There certainly doesn't seem to be much. Muslim children
A little Muslim boy making his way along the road. Muslim child on the road
This is the main mosque for the area, a relatively large structure.  Its wooden construction, though, is unusual, probably denoting a relatively poor area that couldn't put up a more substantial structure. The main mosque for the area
A new, more solid but smaller mosque was not too far down the road in another small grouping of houses. A smaller mosque

Go to Kampong Cham Trip page
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