If you are planning your trip to Cambodia, one of the most beautiful countries in South East Asia, learning how to give a proper Cambodian hello is one of the first necessary things to do. Indochina travel Cambodia
In Cambodia, social communications are generally governed by century-old traditions of respect and formation that may not be immediately apparent to most foreign travelers. This will be obvious whenever Cambodians welcome you or each other.
Putting the hands together, with the palms joining to another (a posture Westerners often combine with praying) while bowing the head is the traditional way Cambodian way use to say hello and good-bye. Sharing similarity to the Thai wai, this traditional greeting manner is called the sampeah, and it is how Cambodians warmly welcome one another, especially for the first time. While sampeahing, it is normally say “Choum reap sor” – the formal greeting in Khmer and “Choum reap lear” – the formal good-bye manner in Cambodian. Travel to Cambodia
Depending on the age and relationship between you and the person you are greeting, you will put the sampeah in front of your body in different places. The lower you bow your head, the higher your sampeah is, the more respect you are representing.
Remember to put your hands together in front of your chest and move your head as you meet people at the same age and social standing as yourself. When greeting your boss, elder people, or those to whom you really want to represent your respect, your sampeah should be arranged in a particular place so that your fingertips are just below and not far from your mouth. When greeting parents, elder relatives and teachers, you should put your sampeah at nose position. For monks and the king, eyebrow-level sampeahs are reserved, and exclusively for prayer, sacred sites, and temple worship, forehead-level sampeahs are used.
In an attempt to be polite, many foreigners even overenthusiastically sampeah by providing waitresses at local restaurants with monk-level greetings. This behavior which may be a misunderstanding thing, seem actually to cause a loss of face, so do not forget to keep your sampeahs at right levels. Following Cambodian tradition, street vendors, children and beggars do not receive sampeah; in these special cases the polite do nothing more than nod and gently smile to reply to a greeting.
If you are planning your trip to Cambodia, one of the most beautiful countries in South East Asia, learning how to give a proper Cambodian hello is one of the first necessary things to do. The wrong greeting way may cause a loss of face or misunderstanding things, so remember the right way to greet people at different ages.