Cambodian Proverbs

Sayings of Cambodian origin

The boat sails by, the shore remains.

Don’t let an angry man wash dishes; don’t let a hungry man guard rice.

You can’t claim heaven as your own if you are just going to sit under it.

Don’t shoot people you hate; don’t lend to those you love.

The tiger depends on the forest; the forest depends on the tiger.

If you know a lot, know enough to make them respect you, if you are stupid, be stupid enough so they can pity you.

A husband should not talk of pretty girls in front of his wife.

If you are doing wrong, make sure you don’t get fat from it.

For news of the heart ask the face.

With water make rivers, with rice make armies.

Cultivate a heart of love that knows no danger.

If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will spare yourself one hundred days of tears.

Don’t take the straight path or the winding path. Take the path your ancestors have taken.

Don’t take rich people as examples.

Don’t shoot people you hate; don’t lend to those you love.

Active hands, full bellies.

Stealing may bring profit, but hanging costs far more.

The elephant that is stuck in the mud will tear down the tree with it.

You don’t have to cut a tree down to get at the fruit.

Negotiate a river by following its bends, enter a country by following its customs.

The immature rice stalk stands erect, while the mature stalk, heavy with grain, bends over.

Don’t let women who attract attention walk behind you.

People give, but don’t be in a hurry to take.

The Kingdom of Cambodia

Cambodian Proverbs

Cambodia is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 square miles) in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. (Source)

Phnom Penh is the capital and most populous city of the Southeast Asian country of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since French colonization of Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation’s economic, industrial, and cultural center.

Khmer or Cambodian is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese).

“Nokor Reach” (Majestic Kingdom) is the national anthem of the Kingdom of Cambodia.


Heaven protects our King
And gives him happiness and glory
To reign over our souls and our destinies,
The one being, heir of the Sovereign builders,
Guiding the proud old Kingdom.

Temples are asleep in the forest
Remembering the glory of the grand kingdom
Like a rock the Khmer race is eternal.
Let us trust in the fate of Kampuchea
The empire which challenges the ages.

Songs rise up from the pagodas
To the glory of holy Buddhist faith.
Let us be faithful to our ancestors’ belief.
Thus heaven will lavish its bounty
Towards the ancient Khmer country,
The Grand Kingdom.

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