Cambodia, Just Like Lotus Flowers

Cambodian Culture / Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Quite common around Cambodia, the Lotus Flower is usually used to decorate homes and as offerings. Here, the locals usually fold the outer layers of the flower to reveal the inner layers of the flower. You can see lots of this flower being sold specially before offering days and when Khmers have to visit pagodas.

This flower is specially symbolic to Cambodian religion. The flower grows in muddy waters then rises above the surface and blooms into a extraordinary beauty. During nighttime the flower closes and sinks underwater and at dawn rises again.

That’s why it has been considered a symbol of awakening to the spiritual reality of life. Even the famous Cambodian monument, the Angkor Wat’s structure and several other temples are modeled after the blooming lotus flower.

For me, the lotus flower symbolizes Cambodia. It looks pretty ordinary closed up. In fact, when the bud is closed it looks downright uninteresting. But once it opens up and reveals the inner layers, its exotic and stunning. The same way, Cambodia is. At first glance, the landscape is dreary and dusty, its history tumultuous,  but look closer and you’ll find astonishing beauty. In its glorious monuments and temples, unspoilt landscapes, the fascinating Cambodia culture and its people.

Just like the lotus flower, Cambodia is a place you need to open up, expose the layers to reveal its real beauty.

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