The World had learned from the devastation and destruction of the two world wars, To promote understanding between people and to secure peace, UNESCO was founded on November 16, 1945, as the educational, scientific, and cultural organization of the UN.
The World Heritage figure represents the interdependence of the world's natural and cultural diversity (Including Intangible Cultural Heritage). The idea of World Heritage was born, following the event in Abu Simbel during the 1960s. As a result, the initial member states of UNESCO signed the world heritage convention and were convicted to encourage the identification, protection, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity in 1972. Apart from contributing to the preservation of these remarkable places, it also promotes cultural exchange, dialogue, and peace in a sustainable way. For a site to be included in the world heritage list, it must first be nominated by the country in which it is located. the nomination is examined by international experts, who decide whether the inclusion in the list is justified. Ultimately, the World Heritage Committee, a body of 21 elected states, takes a vote. The World Heritage Sites show the diversity of cultures and natural phenomena and are tangible evidence of the bond between human beings and nature.
Intangible Cultural Heritage, on the other hand, takes infinite forms. it is a source of human creativity and cultural diversity. Living Heritage brings human beings and communities closer together. The 2003 Convention aims at safeguarding this heritage and ensuring its continuous transmission. When the 2003 convention took effect, the lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage were established in 2008. In 2017, marked 10 years of the list was established, UNESCO listed almost 500 intangible cultural heritage elements.
Cambodia became a member of UNESCO on July 3, 1951. The UNESCO office operated since then until it was closed in 1975 due to the internal political situation, and the organization's operations were suspended nationwide. Fortunately, the UNESCO office in Phnom Penh was reopened in 1991. Since the resumption of its operation across the country till the present day, Cambodia has three temple sites listed in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and five Cambodian Intangible cultural heritage traditions or practices listed in the UNESCO lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as follows:
Angkor Wat-the Main Monument of Angkor Area
Cambodia has been home to a Buddhist temple complex known as Angkor Wat for centuries. This temple, which encompasses over four acres, is one of the largest religious monuments in the world. Since it was constructed by King Suryavarman II, who had governed the territory from 1113 until 1150, it has been referred to as a "temple city" in this Sovannaphumi land, just like the center of the political hub and state temple.
Apsara Dance-One of the Repertory of Dances to the Royal Ballet of Cambodia
There are many classical dance forms in Cambodia, of which a highly stylized art form was once confined mainly to the courts of the royal palace and performed mainly by females. Known formally in Khmer as Robam Apsara, the dancers of this classical form are often referred to as Apsara dancers. Apsara Dance is one of many dances in the Khmer Classical Dance. This dance invented in the mid-20th Century by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, under the patronage of Queen Sisowat Kosamak. This dance form was first introduced to foreign countries and best known during the 1960s as the Khmer Royal Ballet. The first royal ballerina was Princess Norodom Sihanuk.
Bakheng Temple-the temple of Angkor Area
When talking about Angkor's highest temple, Phnom Bakheng stands first. It offers the finest and most beautiful scenery in the surrounding region. Furthermore, the Bakheng temple is a spectacular building that attracts a lot of tourists every day from the dark until dawn. The temple is a famous and perfect place for capturing a beautiful sunrise. Many people like to get up at 5 am, go to the temple, and wait for the sunrise. After 8 or 9 am, they exit the temple to have breakfast, yet there are several other tourists who keep going up. Before evening, people start to go to the temple again around 3 to 4 pm. By the time they arrive at the top, they will wait to see another beautiful sunset view. Bakheng temple is located on the northwest side of Angkor Wat, about 1,500 meters away, generating a perfect area for viewing the world’s heritage from far.
Bakong Temple-the temples of Rolous of Angkor Area
Bakong, also known as Indresvara, is one of the most beautiful temples in Siem Reap and is the first temple mountain of sandstone built by rulers of the Khmer Empire at Angkor near modern Sime Reap in Cambodia. In the final decades of the 9th century AD, it served as the official state temple of King Indravarman I in the ancient city of Hariharalaya, located in an area that today is called Roluos.
Banteay Srei Temple-the nearby temple of Angkor Area
Banteay Srei temple is a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor, it lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 25 km (16 miles) north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. When it is under the sunlight, it appears like a pink temple.
Bayon Temple-the main temple of Angkor Thom in Angkor Area
Bayon temple is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple in the Angkor area in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the center of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. According to their respective religious inclinations, succeeding Hindu and Theravada monarchs rebuilt and expanded it after Jayavarman's demise.
Chapei Dang Veng
Chapei Dang Veng (A Cambodian two-stringed, long-necked guitar) is used in Arak and Pleng Ka orchestras. Moreover, it is also performed solo instruments accompaniment of poetry, narrated folk stories, vocal duets of an argumentative style and riddle telling. Due to this special feature of the instrument which has brought it great popularity from early times right up to today and its music has been delighted by the Khmer people for many generations.
Kun Lbokator, known formally as Lbokator (គុនល្បុក្កតោ), is a Khmer martial art form that involves close hand-to-hand combat, ground techniques, and weapons. Lbokator is one of the earliest Khmer martial art dating back to early Angkorian period. Moreover, this martial art is said to be the close-quarter combat system used by the armies during the Angkor era. Practitioners are trained to strike with knees, elbows, hands feet, and even the head. Short sticks are commonly used as a weapon.
Lakhaon Khaol (Male Masked Theatre)
Many tangible and intangible heritage of Cambodia has helped the country to become well-known on the international stage and they are a vital player on the world heritage stage. One of those is Lakhaon Khol.
Moni Mekhala Dance-One of the Repertory of Dances to the Royal Ballet of Cambodia
Cambodia is a country full of culture and rich in civilization in Southeast Asia. Besides the cultural heritage, ancient temples, and traditional arts, there are intangible cultural heritages everywhere in Cambodia. There are also many different traditional intangible cultural heritage of their Khmer ancestors. The traditional Khmer dance has various styles. One of them is Robam Moni Mekhala Dance, a traditional dance popular among Cambodian people.
Preah Vihear Temple-the temple complex on the edge of a mountain plateau
Cambodia is a nation that has a lot of ancient temples built by the King in ancient times. These temples have become work architectures in the world. Cambodia has a lot of ancient temples in most provinces. Among those, Preah Vihear Temple is a sacred shrine which is located on the very high end and smooth plateau along the Dang Rek Mountain about 625 meters (above sea level) in Preah Vihear Province. Prasat Preah Vihear is stationed at a stunning location of all of the temples that were constructed during the six-hundred-year Khmer Empire because it provides a natural viewpoint that extends for several kilometers over a plain. Furthermore, in its role as an important symbol of royal spirituality, all the Khmer kings have undergone countless restorations and alterations throughout the course of its long history.
Robam Jun Por (Blessing Dance)-One of the Repertory of Dances to the Royal Ballet of Cambodia
Cambodia, the Pearl of Asia, always dazzles you with its brilliant sceneries and indigenous Khmer culture that has been conserved and exalted for centuries. Robam Jun Por (Blessing Dance) is traditionally performed at the beginning of a ceremony to greet, bless, and offer good wishes to the audience. Khmer, as a nation, present their identity with pleasant, politeness, and honesty and prefer to develop friendships and build peace. The Blessing Dance is a masterpiece of Her Majesty the Queen Sisowath Kosamak Nearyrath who created this dance to reflect the pleasant character of the Khmer nation.