The Krama from Cambodia

The Krama is a rectengularely shaped plaid cotton scarf. It is THE traditional clothing item of the Cambodian people. It is used as protection against the sun, as a sarong, as a scarf to be put around your shoulders as a turban, as a bandana, as a belt, to cover motorbikes, as a rope, to carry babies and chicken around in them and vegetables and so on. Each Cambodian owns at least one. They are mostly made of cotton but today fabric mixes are widely used, too. When and why the Krama is so popular is still be found out may be it is due to its Indian roots. The Indians are very well known to love this all purpose item of clothing.

The Khmer came to Cambodia in the first century from India and are one of the oldest tribal groups in Indochine. They make up to 92% of the Cambodian people today. The above described Krama was their trademark truely distinguishing them from thier neighbouring people: the Thai, the Lao, and Vietnamese. One characteristic remains memorable since the Krama had to be worn by all people above their black pyjama suits in red under the gruesome regime of the Red Khmer. Also blue and white Kramas were worn by the people in the Eastern areas the country for matters of distinction. The Red Khmer believed the Combodians in the East were people with Khmer bodies and Vietnamese minds making them therefore a target for cruelest descrimination. One is not to forget this when wearing the scarf. However it is not the scarf`s fault.

In 2014, finally finally, the last legal proceedings against the last living high-ranking leaders of the Khmer Rouge came to an end. Nuon Chea and Kheiu Samphan, were jailed for life by a UN-backed court, which found them guilty of crimes against humanity and responsible for the deaths of up to 2 million Cambodians (Khmer). Leider zeigen die beiden keinerlei Reue und stritten jede Verantwortung ab. Unfortunately and very badly to see, the two did not show any regrets and dinied any responsibility.

Nearly a quarter of the population was killed during the era of the khmer rouge regime between 1975–1979 by forced labor, executions and famine. Their idea of ​​an absolute communist peasant state was carried out by the Khmer Rouge in an incomprehensibly cruel way. The assassinations and torture of “enemies” and “subversive elements“ were made, last but not least with the power of the extremely brutal new generation of child soldiers, who have grown up in the late years of the totalitarian rule, more and more abitrarily. It was already enough to wear spectacles or to master a foreign language in order to be treated and killed as a state enemy.

Pictures, right side, from top to bottom: 

1. The Krama could be anything, even a nice modercycle cover .kann alles sein, auch eine wunderbare Motorradabdeckung. 

2. …or an all-purpose” garment. Here while spinning the threads. 

3. Kramaseller near Phnom Phen

5. or could be a chic belt

6….an elegant scarf… 

7. …perfect eaddresses. 

9. These are the official outfits of the khmer rouge. 

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