Cultural Diffusion from Foreign Nations
There are quite a few instances of cultural diffusion affecting the history of the Khmer Empire. The Khmer Empire was very militaristic, and engaged in warfare with other countries to capture people and bring them home. This was one of the main factors of cultural diffusion from foreign nations.

Looking briefly at cultural diffusion and its relation to Khmer religion, Mahanaya Buddhism was brought to the Khmer Empire in its early stages. In the 13th Century, the Indians and Sri Lankans brought Theravada Buddhism to the Khmers, which quickly spread throughout the empire. For an explanation of these religions, please feel free to look at the section: Religion.

In the year 1250, the Mon People from Burma diffused throughout Asia, and in the process, helped spread Buddhism throughout the Khmer Empire. Although the Khmer Empire was strongly Hindu during its reign, by the time the empire fell, it was strongly Buddhist due to the diffusion of other cultures into the area.

Finally, the Siamese spread their influence into the Khmer Empire after attacks by the Siamese from which people were left behind to mix with the Khmers. After these attacks, the capital of the empire was moved to Phonm Penh, leaving the large temples like Angkor Wat unused.

Cultural Diffusion to Foreign Nations
After moving the capital to Phnom Penh, the Khmers were able to move more freely, spreading their infulence to surrounding areas in modern-day Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. If you visit these countries today, you will see that they are all very similar in culture, with only minor differences.



cambodia-map.jpg


The new capital is located on the map, and is marked Phnom Penh, and the old capital is marked Siemreab




Works Cited:
“Angkor.” Encyclopedia of Asian History.
Cambodia Budget Tour. 6 Oct. 2006 <http://vietnambudgettour.com/‌aid/‌Travel/‌55/‌1250>.
Freeman, Michael, and Claude Jaques. Ancient Angkor. Bangkok: River, 2003.
Royal Exclusive Travel. “Religion - Khmer Civilization.” Cambodia Travel: Religion of the Khmer Civilization. 2000. 6 Oct. 2006 <http://www.cambodia-travel.com/‌khmer/‌religion.htm>.
Wikipedia. “Angkor.” Wikipedia. 4 Oct. 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌Angkor>.
- - -. “Cambodia.” Wikipedia. 7 Oct. 2006 <http://www.cambodia-travel.com/‌khmer/‌religion.htm>.

Written by: Allan Yogananthan