Speakers of an Indonesian-Malaysian language in one of mediaeval Asia’s great seaports, the people of Champa in central Vietnam attacked and raided Angkor before themselves being over-run by gun powder fired by warriors from north Vietnam. They fled south, taking Islam with them, or converting as they went, before being attacked again, four hundred years later, on the south-central coast of Vietnam. Those who made it to the Mekong, in Cambodia, escaped the slaughter.

Now, in Phnom Penh, city officials worried by appearances have pushed Cham fishing families out of sight, and out of mind. They live on boats without engines in a river corner riddled with tanks and pipes.


One thought on “Kompong Cham’s Children of the Cham – Cambodia

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