Hinduism forms the most defining aspects of Indian culture. The Khmer empire's official religions included Hinduism. The Srivijayans dominated what is present-day Cambodia until the founder of the Khmer Empire dynasty, severed the Srivijayan link.
Greater India was the historical extent of the culture of India beyond the Indian subcontinent. This particularly concerns the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism, by the travellers of the 5th to 15th centuries, but may also refer to the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism from India to Central Asia and China by the Silk Road during the early centuries of the Common Era. To the west, Greater India overlaps with Greater Persia in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountains. The term is tied to the geographic uncertainties surrounding the "Indies" during the Age of Exploration.
Khmer (//; ភាសាខ្មែរ, IPA: [pʰiːəsaː kʰmaːe]; or more formally, ខេមរភាសា, IPA: [kʰeɛmaʔraʔ pʰiːəsaː]), or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese), with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through the vehicles of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese. The Khmer language has influenced, and also been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, Chinese and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia.
Khmer is primarily an analytic, isolating language. There are no inflections, conjugations or case endings. Instead, particles and auxiliary words are used to indicate grammatical relationships. General word order is subject–verb–object. Many words conform to the typical Mon-Khmer pattern, having a "main" syllable preceded by a minor syllable.
Khmer people (// or //; Khmer: ខ្មែរ) are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 15.2 million people in the country. They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Mon–Khmer language family found throughout Southeast Asia. The majority of the Khmer are followers of the Khmer style of Buddhism, a highly syncretic version which blends elements of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, animism and ancestor-spirit worship. Significant populations of Khmers reside in adjacent areas of Thailand (Northern Khmer) and the Mekong Delta region of neighboring Vietnam (Khmer Krom).
Migrations into the mainland regions of Southeast Asia from the north continued well into historic times.]citation needed[ Most scholars believe they came at least 3,000 years ago, much earlier than Tai people who now inhabit many parts of what was originally Austroasiatic territory. The reason they migrated into Southeast Asia is generally debated, but scholars believe that Mon–Khmer were pushed down by invading Sino-Tibetans from the north as evident by Austroasiatic vocabulary in Chinese or because of agricultural purposes as evident by their migration routes along major rivers. The Khmer are relatives to the Mon who settled further to the west.
The Khmer Empire, now known as Cambodia, was the most powerful empire in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, and southern Vietnam. During the formation of the empire, the Khmer had close cultural, political and trade relations with Java, and later with the Srivijaya empire that lay beyond Khmer's southern border. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, in present-day Cambodia, which was the site of the capital city during the empire's zenith. Angkor bears testimony to the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth, as well as the variety of belief systems that it patronised over time. The empire's official religions included Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, until Theravada Buddhism prevailed, even among the lower classes, after its introduction from Sri Lanka in the 13th century. Recently satellite imaging has revealed Angkor to be the largest pre-industrial urban center in the world.
The history of Angkor as the central area of settlement of the historical kingdom of Kambujadesa is also the history of the Khmer from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Arab writers of the 9th and 10th century hardly mention Europe for anything other than its backwardness but they consider the king of Al-Hind (India and Southeast Asia) as one of the 4 great kings in the world. The ruler of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty is described as the greatest king of Al-Hind but moreover even the lesser kings of Al-Hind including the kings of Java, Pagan Burma and the Khmer kings of Cambodia are invariably depicted by the Arabs as extremely powerful and as being equipped with vast armies of men, horses and often tens of thousands of elephants. They are also known to be in the possession of vast treasures of gold and silver.
Hinduism in Southeast Asia
Egyptian hieroglyphs 32 c. BCE
Kana (from Chinese) 8 c. CE
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