Mapping Indo-Khmer Historical and Cultural Connections: Peaceful Coexistence and Convergence of Culture

Khath Bunthorn


India and Southeast Asia have old-age historical and cultural connections, which created a conducive atmosphere for fostering bilateral relations between the two regions. Indian culture spread to the region since the first century Common Era. It coexisted with the local traditions though it had been modified, rejected, and localised to suit the needs of the people. Notably, the historical and cultural connections between Cambodia and India have been extensively found in archaeological, sculpture and literature evidence. Against this backdrop, this paper critically reviews the notion of Indianisation and Indian cultural influence in Cambodia. It argues that Indian cultural diffusion in ancient Cambodia created a cultural convergence between the indigenous cultural (mulatthan cheat) and imported cultural (mulatthan borotesh) foundations of Khmer civilisation.


Cambodia; civilisation; cultural convergence; historical connections; Indianisation; Southeast Asia

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