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A Cambodian Student Looks at Life in Two Different Worlds


Khmer Fashion: The Khmer Kroma

I found this Khmer Kroma's article quite interesting. Thought you might like it too. Here are a few excerpts:

The Khmer scarf, woven from cotton or silk, has been a fashion staple since Ancient times. While some claim the thin cloth, wrapped around one's head or neck, is used primarily to wipe the sweat from a hot face, others say wearing a kroma is as 'Khmer' as wearing a necktie is American.

[........]

Although its not nearly as popular as the western necktie, the traditional Khmer kroma appears to have international appeal. "When foreigners come to visit Cambodia, they sometimes pick up the Khmer style. They take the kroma to fold around their head like Khmer people in the countryside do," Srey Yar Phout Savdy said. Much to the delight of its guests, the Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap distributes the kroma as tourists check in.

[...]

Long or short, the multi-purpose kromas can be found in nearly every Cambodian household. Even babies know the benefits of the colorful scarves, as kromas are placed The Kromas also are used to shield children from the cold or dreaded mosquitoes. Adults too make use of the kromas in many ways, using them to clean their bodies or wear while taking a bath. As Cambodians head to work in the rice fields, they can be seen wearing a kroma folded around their head as a sun protector. The kroma has even kept the lustful stare of young boys off the faces of blushing girls.

For the whole article go to:
Whole article
Additional reading about Krama:
About Krama

5 Responses to “Khmer Fashion: The Khmer Kroma”

  1. # Blogger p+k

    Interesting!

    Cheers.  

  2. # Blogger Blogs By Khmer

    A nice article but the author is not fair when he/she compares Khmer kroma to Western necktie. “ kroma is as 'Khmer' as wearing a necktie is American. “ This is like comparing apple to orange.

    What so fashionable about wearing kroma ? We khmer use it because its usefulness in which the author has accurately described. Shielded from the sun, cold, mosquitos, wiping after a bath…etc. But can you do that to a necktie ? How about try wearing the shiny black necktie and “choss stoong srov” plunge into the mud rice paddy planting rice?

    He/she is a good writer but should learn how to compare the likeness of similar things. Apple to apple not apple to oragne.

    Thom  

  3. # Blogger Berry

    Hey Se Sera... I am a Cambodian Student from U.S. I like your blog... I want to repsond to the Krama comparison on contra to another commentor. Krama are to some extent a cultural fashion. It's not just used for just necessary multipurpose living of day to day but also for official events such as:

    Weddings, Ceremonies and going to the Temple. People wear it in that sort as fashion so in a way it is like the American necktie. But more commonly used for regular purposes then just mere fashion.

    It is both fashion and a multipurpose scarf.
    Thats my opinion.

    Sdong,
    Usa  

  4. # Anonymous Kavius

    I am a Canadian that travelled to Cambodia 12 years ago, and I still wear the krama I picked up as a souvenier.

    Originally I had picked it up because of a simple travel rule I have: pack lightly, and trade all of your clothes for local garb upon arrival. Clothes that purchase in Canada are totally inapropriate for Cambodia (material is woven too heavily). I sun burn easily, and the krama was the best head covering available (hat material is woven too heavily).

    To this day, my krama is still part of my camping gear. I use it primarily as head-covering, but it has paid for itself in many other ways: breath filter in sand storm, basket for fruit, temporary rope, sling for dislocated shoulder (not mine), and a few I'm sure I have missed.

    I can see why people visiting Cambodia would want to pick one up as a souvenir (there is nothing quite so Cambodian) and I can see why people who live there (non-native) would want to keep them. They are just so handy.

    The only thing I regret is not getting a local to show me how they keep the thing attached to themselves. I remember seeing a few ways, and all of them better than the ones I came up with.  

  5. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Searching for proper way to wear one. I got one in Siem Reap a couple years ago. I LOVED Cambodian people  

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