The Villages of Cambodia

Every Cambodian village usually has a temple or a religious monument. Each village has a village chief called Bouy-si to oversee the daily affairs. Along major roadways, one would frequently find rest houses called Sinpak (Pteah Samnak) built next to them. Lately, because of war with Siam, some villages had been razed to the ground.

Gallbladders’ Collection

The Villages of Cambodia Photo Gallery



Some time ago, when the 8th month arrived, a group of people would go about in the middle of the night to kidnap and cut off gallbladders from people who were out and about at night. It is said that the gallbladders are collected as suzerainty to be sent to the king of Champa. For those unfortunate souls who dared venturing out at night, they would be met with ropes tying around their heads and a knife stab under their right armpits where their gallbladders would be removed. Once enough gallbladders were collected, they would be sent off to Champa. On one occasion, a gallbladder belonging to a Chinese person was collected, and the addition of his gallbladder into the mixture caused spoilages to other gallbladders which rendered them useless. Ever since that incidence, no other Chinese gallbladders were ever taken again.

Afterward, the task of gallbladder’s collection was left with appointed officials who were stationed near the northern gate on the edge of the city.

Supernatural Phenomenon

I heard that there was a savage who committed incest with his sister. This incestuous act caused their skins to attach to each other for 3 days and nights. They eventually died. An acquaintance of mine surnamed Shih, who has lived in this country for 35 years, told me that he witnessed this strange phenomenon with his own eyes twice. It is said that the power of the Supreme Beings in this country is very effective in punishing bad deeds.

Bathing

The climate in Cambodia is very hot. So, people bathe several times each day to cope with the heat. They even take bath at night. There are no bathrooms, tanks, or containers of any kind for taking bath. Each home has to dig a pond in which people would bathe. If a private pond were not doable, several households would cooperate to dig up a communal pond where everyone would have access to it. People bathe completely naked even in communal ponds. Nobody seems to bother about modesty.

However, if adults are in the ponds, youngsters must wait for their turn and vice versa. For those who are of the same ages, they could commingle in the ponds freely. People use their left hands to cover their private parts as they enter the ponds.

Occasionally (every 5 or 6 days), hordes of ladies of the city would go to bathe in the river outside the city. Once they arrive at the river, they would take off their clothes and go into the river by the hundreds. Even ladies of the court and women of high statuses participate in this nudist gathering.

Every time, when such gathering occurs, there are always Chinese men hanging around the area to peak at the scene. I heard that some of these men even sneak into the river to take advantage of the gathering. The water in the river is always warm. It only gets a bit cold during pre-dawn hours.

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