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Cambodian Banner

2006-01-01/2008-12-31

Migration Museum

Migration Museum
Adelaide, Australia

This banner is part of the museum's Community Banners project, 'Memories and Dreams'. It is symbolic of Cambodian immigrants' experiences in South Australia.

The banner is a result of many people's work. Many members of the Cambodian community collaborated on all steps in the project including designing, sketching and the actual making of it.
Angkor Wat (top) is the symbol of Cambodia's glorious heritage, while the ornamental symbol of Phkar Chan of the Angkorien area is placed in the four corners of the Banner. The embroidery across the top and bottom is an imitation of the Angkor Base Relief.

Locus flower and Reahou Chap Chan (Rahul catching the moon) are important symbols in Cambodian Buddhism. Reahou Chap Chan can be seen at the top of every gate at Cambodian Buddhist temples. It is also the emblem of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom.

The palm tree is a significant image of Cambodia. This and the ox cart represent Cambodian agriculture and agrarian life.

The open book on the tray is the light of Cambodian education while the dove brings peace and hope for restarting a new life in Australia.

A Krama, the black and white checked scarf, links Cambodian refugees' past to present life in Australia. It can be used for sun protection when bathing, for carrying goods or a young child, or even strung out as a hammock to put a child to sleep. It can become a light blanket, a cushion, and casual wear for men, among numerous other uses. Cambodians of higher status tend to use a Krama made of silk.

During Pot Pot’s time the Khmer Rouge used Krama to indicate their rank. After Pol Pot’s time many Cambodians refused to use Krama because they brought back bad memories. However, they have slowly re-adjusted and reclaimed the Krama because it is part of life as they remember it always being.

Major contributors : Heang Boun Collins, Chamroeun Chau, Dany Yon, Fong Soung, Vandy Keo, Viv Szekeres, Marie Boland, Sareth Seng Theach Koy, and Suntary Khchao.

Researcher: Sundara Kong, 2008.

Details

  • Title: Cambodian Banner
  • Date Created: 2006-01-01/2008-12-31
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Provenance: The banner was made by members of the cambodian community in South Australia following its exhibition "Stories from Carboard Boxes: the survival of Cambodian Refugees" held by the Migration Museum in 2003.
  • Subject Keywords: banner, Cambodian
  • Rights: History Trust of South Australia , CC-0, photographer: Rachel Harris

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