Sitting beside the School of Fine Arts in Cambodia and very near the Royal Palace is the imposing National Museum of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The clay-maroon color facade architectural wonder is one testament of the greatest Khmer culture that stood time and once more, grants to the world its own prowess in the area of aesthetic and utilitarian uses of architectural structures which houses its own gems and jewels.
On Christmas day, I went to the National Museum of Cambodia apparently, to indulge myself of the beauty of the Khmer culture and also learn firsthand how they have managed to preserve their tradition, culture and the arts which spans centuries.
Like many museums, cameras are not allowed inside the museum though the museum gardens are a welcome respite. The inner sanctum of the museum provided the strong influence architecturally and also with superb landscaping, the garden is inviting. The courtyard inside the museum has a singular figure that sits facing the main entrance or rather the lobby.
The collection they have inside the National Museum of Cambodia spans centuries where a mixture of Sanskrit and Khmer influences can be seen in its artefacts that were gathered all over the kingdom.
The National Museum of Cambodia also has a great collection of Buddha figures and stone carvings as well as inscriptions that dates back centuries prior to what we see now as a modern Cambodia. It showcases the great Khmer culture, one that has also manifested its overarching influence over other cultures in Asia and the rest of Indochina.
Very unlikely too, I have observed that the entire collection of the National Museum of Cambodia does not keep the franco influences in spite the years of French rule over the Kingdom. The collections were exclusively about Khmer culture and life, one that sustains the present people and present-day practices of the Kingdom.
I paid US$5 as an entrance fee to the museum and what I gained is far more weightier and relevant in my search for what is the rich Khmer culture and such cultural heritage is one that also helped define my own humanity.