Cambodian Krama scarves remain fashionable, trendy, and multi-use that continues to attracts travelers to visit the country and buy the symbolic piece of cloth. With a Krama scarf, you can wear it around the neck or the head. Not only does this item keep you warm, but it also enhances the taste of fashion and is the fantastic souvenir.
The History of Krama in Cambodia
The Krama scarf is one of the most traditional products linked to the Cambodians’ life from the early 17th century. The initial origin of this item was derived from the spiritual belief of the old Khmer people who lived in the Angkorian period. There was even a religious story about the creation of Krama scarf. The old Khmer practiced Hinduism and worshiped three deities of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. In particular, the kind-hearted Vishnu deity rode a 7-headed Naga (the holy snake). To show reverence to the Vishnu, they made the Krama scarf (Krama meant “the snake scarf”) which represented the holy Naga. They believed that wearing the Krama on the head meant they were protected by the Vishnu and Naga, which brought peace and luck to the wearers.
In the daily life, the Khmer originates the Cambodian Krama uses such as protecting the head from the scorching sun, wearing around the neck to keep warm, making the hammock, carrying a baby, wrapping to make a skirt or sarong, becoming market bags, etc. Besides, the iconic Krama has been the beautiful ornament on the Cambodian traditional costumes, which helps to distinguish between the Khmer people (the Cambodians) and those from other neighboring countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, etc.). In fact, the locals have listed up to 90 different functions of Krama that seems to have no competitor. As time passes, The Krama scarf becomes indispensable in the Cambodians’ daily life and activities. Also, it now attracts the foreign tourists who love wearing the scarves around their necks or their heads and take pictures.
Popular Kinds of Cambodian Krama for Sales
The Cambodian Krama for sales come in various kinds and colors that ensure guests to find at least one scarf they like. As “king of the scarf,” Krama is perfectly produced from 100% authentic cotton, which makes it soft and smooth. The colors and kinds are diverse while the popular sizes include 1.2m, 1.6m, 1.7m with the horizontal sizes of 40cm and 60cm. The prices are quite reasonable. Note that the original scarf was only in red and yellow. But now, regarding the colors designed, they are bright and eye-catching such as bold red, dark brown, crimson, indigo, turquoise, etc., and have the special patterns such as Scotland’s plaid and the checked stripes. Even the manufacturers cannot count how many colors and patterns of Krama are in use. The quality varies due to the prices; surely, the silk Krama with the delicate pattern is more expensive than the simple cotton Krama.
Where to buy Cambodian Krama during your Indochina travel
If you want to buy Cambodia Krama at the most reasonable prices, then head to the local traditional markets. In particular, the Central Market or the Russian Market in Phnom Penh and the night market in Siem Reap are the ideal addresses to join the fashion show of Krama. Besides, in most tourist attractions in the country, there are souvenir shops that sell these symbolic scarves to guests. Obviously, the Krama in the market has the lower prices than those in the shops.
If you ask what souvenir to buy in the homeland of Angkor Wat, then other travelers alike tend to answer “Krama.” Enjoy the “Krama fashion show” and get at least one Krama in Cambodia for yourself or the loved one at home.
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