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What is the Indian influence on Cambodia?, Angkor Watt and Hinduism?
Noir
post Aug 20 2008, 10:17 AM
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So Khmer people are mainly theravada buddhist, but are there still hindus living in cambodia? Did Indians mix w/ the khmer at some point in history? The reason I ask is because Angkor Watt was a hindu temple (now buddhist) built by an Indian king....
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transtic
post Aug 20 2008, 10:32 AM
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I'm not sure that there is much of a Hindu population left in Cambodia. If there is, it would be from a very small number ethnic Indians in Cambodia (I've seen them around hawking their wares). Angkor was not built by an Indian but a Khmer.
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Noir
post Aug 20 2008, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE(transtic @ Aug 20 2008, 08:32 AM) [snapback]3882400[/snapback]
I'm not sure that there is much of a Hindu population left in Cambodia. If there is, it would be from a very small number ethnic Indians in Cambodia (I've seen them around hawking their wares). Angkor was not built by an Indian but a Khmer.


He was a khmer? I thought Cambodia was invaded by indian kings and Angkor Watt was one of the last remaining artifacts of that time...so if Angkor was built by khmer, then how did hinduism reach Cambodia? confused.gif
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preahvihear
post Aug 20 2008, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE(Noir @ Aug 20 2008, 10:17 AM) [snapback]3882389[/snapback]
So Khmer people are mainly theravada buddhist, but are there still hindus living in cambodia? Did Indians mix w/ the khmer at some point in history? The reason I ask is because Angkor Watt was a hindu temple (now buddhist) built by an Indian king....He was a khmer? I thought Cambodia was invaded by indian kings and Angkor Watt was one of the last remaining artifacts of that time...so if Angkor was built by khmer, then how did hinduism reach Cambodia? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/confused.gif)


Welcome to Khmer Chat, Noir. I'd like to answer some of your misconceptions about the Khmer people. First and foremost, you MUST KNOW and UNDERSTAND that Angkor Wat is never an Indian temple, but a Khmer temple in its own exclusive right. Angkor Wat's builder King Suryavaraman II was never an Indian King, but a KHMER KING. The creation of Angkor Wat itself was of the Khmer, for the Khmer and by the Khmer alone. However, the masterpiece temple of Angkor Wat was inspired by the ideas of Hinduism. Remember also that the Angkorean Kings were both Hindus and Mahayan Buddhists. The last great Angkorean King was King Jayvaraman VII and he was a Mahayanan Buddhist. After the Siamese captured Angkor Wat in the late 15th century, the Khmer people began to convert to Theravada Buddhism instead in the 16th century and they have been such ever since. The Khmer world view and perspectives were also changed drastically ever since. Surprisingly, there are still TWO branches within Khmer Thervadad Buddhism. embarassedlaugh.gif This means that all the Cambodian buddhists don't go to the same temple. Hahaha. This is similar to the Christians who only participate in the church with their own denominations. If you want to extend it to better faciliate your understanding, you can look at the various Khmer regional dialects. The Phnom Penh Khmer think theirs is the best form of the Khmer language. The Northern Khmer think theirs is the best form of the Khmer language. The Battambong Khmer think theirs is the best form of the Khmer language. The Siemreap Khmer think theirs is the best form of the Khmer language. The Southern Khmer think theirs is the best form of the Khmer language. Everyone thinks their style is the best and they can always find an evidence to back up their claim. embarassedlaugh.gif

Your next question "Did Indians mix with the Khmer at some point in history?" The answer is absolutely yes. You can easily find that mixed lineages in the common present-day Cambodian physical features. The evidence can also be found in the Khmer value of beauty and literature. Dr. Michael Tranet wrote that in the ancient time the Kalinga mixed with the Khmer women. Khmer people do not call Indian people as "Indian", but as "Kleng" instead. The French in the 1800s also noted that the Khmer people look different from other people in "IndoChina". The Khmer were noted to be taller and have straighter noses and wavy hair texture. embarassedlaugh.gif However, you MUST also learn the Khmer people were mixed with the Chinese as well. One Chinese emmissary who visited Angkor in the 13th century wrote that many Chinese sailors abandoned China and settle down in the Khmer Empire with their Khmer wives. You can readily find this physical evidence of this mixed linages in the present-day Khmer people. You can also find the evidence of the ancient Khmer-Chinese contacts in historical records, Khmer legends, and business setting. Typically the Chinese husbands created and carry their commerical products, while the Khmer wives advertise and sell the items off to consumers. If you extend it further, yes, the Khmer also mixed with other people as well. There are still various non-Indianized Mon-Khmer groups in the region of Southeast Asia.

Your other question: "I thought Cambodia was invaded by indian kings [and] how did hinduism reach Cambodia?" There was never an "INVASION" by the Indians. So you need to understand this fact carefully. The true native Khmer or (Mon-Khmer) ruling system was based on MATRIARCHY. This means that the Khmer society was led by a female leader. This is how the story (according to the Chinese sources) of the first contact between the INDIAN (no S) and the Khmer people goes: According to the oral history of the Khmer of Funan or Nokor Phnom, Brahman Kaundinya (an Indian) well equipped with his weapons trespassed into Funan and Khmer Queen Soma took her troops to confront the Indian aggressor. The Indian managed to sink the Queen's boat and her troops into the water. However, instead of humiliating the Queen, Brahman Kaundinya asked her hand for a marriage. Their first son became the first Khmer King thus adopting the Indian PATRIARCHY. However, all the Khmer kings thereafter (incluidng the Angkorean Kings) must show a connection to one of the Queen mothers in order to claim the throne. Khmer wedding ceremony is nowhere like that of the Indians in India. Some neighboring distractors and haters distorted the Khmer traditional wedding ceremony as completely borrowing from the Indians. That is not true. The groom must always be led by the bride, period. embarassedlaugh.gif The groom is the one who must serve the bride's family. The groom must provide the dowry. The groom must establish his financial ability and skills to care for the bride. Now compare that to the Indian bride and groom. So completely different indeed. embarassedlaugh.gif Another point to note is that the traditional oral story of the first contact with the Indian Brahman was orally told by the Khmer of Chenla. biggthumpup.gif According to the Chenla Khmer oral story, Brahman Kaundinya was calld Kambu and Queen Soma was called Mera. Their descendants and people are called "Khmer". Because the people of Chenla and the people of Funan shared the same historical beginning story, that is why the experts conclude that both Funan and Chenla were dominated and populated by the Khmer people. biggthumpup.gif Hinduism and civilization were spread by Brahman Kaundinya himself and other later-arriving Brahmans from India.

Your third question: "...are there still hindus living in cambodia?" The answer is absolutely yes. During the 13th century, the Khmer Hindus were turncoats who betrayed the Khmer kings and went to work for the Siamese of Sukothai and Ayuthaya. In fact even the descendants of the Khmer Hindus from that era still work for the present-day Thai king. During the coronation of Khmer King Ang Duong in the 1800's after the Siamese and the Vietnamese made a peace treaty, there were Khmer and "Thai" Brahmins performing the royal ceremony and rituals. People see the Brahmins again when the present-day Khmer King Sihamoni was crowned as "Khmer King". So yes, there are still Hindu Brahmins in Cambodia whose job is to maintain and perform the Khmer royal rituals and ceremonies. As far as ordinary people practicing Hinduism, I would say no. I believe Hinduism was done away with since a long time ago. However, don't be surprised if you see some Khmer people still respecting their bovines. embarassedlaugh.gif Preah Koa or the Sacred Cow is still revered in Cambodia. Hahaha.

I know it's long, but since you seem to be curious, I hope you don't mind the long post. It should be a quick read though. Hahha. What you do need to remember is that there was never an invasion by any of the so-called "INDIAN Kings". It is all about the peaceful union between the Khmer and the Indians or Klengs, that is what you should remember. The Khmer chose to adopt the Indian ideas or (the Chinese ideas for that matter) as long as they can improve the Khmer lives. biggthumpup.gif
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mano2mano
post Aug 20 2008, 04:04 PM
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QUOTE(Noir @ Aug 20 2008, 12:27 PM) [snapback]3882432[/snapback]
He was a khmer? I thought Cambodia was invaded by indian kings and Angkor Watt was one of the last remaining artifacts of that time...so if Angkor was built by khmer, then how did hinduism reach Cambodia? confused.gif



you sound like you are brand new to cambodian history, go do your research. what nationality are you?
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Noir
post Aug 20 2008, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE(mano2mano @ Aug 20 2008, 02:04 PM) [snapback]3882837[/snapback]
you sound like you are brand new to cambodian history, go do your research. what nationality are you?


I'm Indian and yes I'm brand new to cambodian history. I was reading about Angkor Watt and the article I read wasn't making it clear what the nationality of the king who built it was. I got the impression from his name ( a hindu name) that he must have been an Indian.

Preahvihear, thank you that was very informative. So I take it there are no communities of indians living there who are descended from the kalinga/ indian traders?
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mano2mano
post Aug 20 2008, 07:08 PM
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QUOTE(Noir @ Aug 20 2008, 07:16 PM) [snapback]3883069[/snapback]
I'm Indian and yes I'm brand new to cambodian history. I was reading about Angkor Watt and the article I read wasn't making it clear what the nationality of the king who built it was. I got the impression from his name ( a hindu name) that he must have been an Indian.

Preahvihear, thank you that was very informative. So I take it there are no communities of indians living there who are descended from the kalinga/ indian traders?



yep that's true, indian are not anyway associate with khmer, they only influence the religion when they did trades with cambodia back in the days.
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superlottoplaya
post Aug 20 2008, 08:20 PM
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from some historical videos i've seen on angkor watt history, they said that the area cambodia was a trade zone for india and china, the two powerhouses in the ancient world. i believe the khmers there were more in touch with india then china at first. now cambodia, is much more chinese influence. i heard that the tools used to build angkor watt were tools invented in india. there are people living in india that look like us. thus, the technology used were developed in india. we might have been an extension of indian civilization which was and still is diverse. the same way japan and korea are an extension of chinese civilization. what i wonder is, did east asians pick up buddhism from trading with us, or did they pick it up directly from india. this is big considering the mindset of east asians. seems like they only pick up from people they respect as intellectuals also. if u think about it, cambodia might be the only great civilization in southeast asia. and because khmer civilization is just a small piece of what it was in the past, east asians don't respect us anymore. its because of the power hungry neighbors from the west and east of us who til this day is still trying to take over our country and claiming it as their own. its like two hundred years from now, mexicans take up a third of the u.s. present land and makes everyone speaks spanish.

This post has been edited by superlottoplaya: Aug 20 2008, 08:45 PM
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preahvihear
post Aug 20 2008, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE(Noir @ Aug 20 2008, 06:16 PM) [snapback]3883069[/snapback]
I'm Indian and yes I'm brand new to cambodian history. I was reading about Angkor Watt and the article I read wasn't making it clear what the nationality of the king who built it was. I got the impression from his name ( a hindu name) that he must have been an Indian. Preahvihear, thank you that was very informative. So I take it there are no communities of indians living there who are descended from the kalinga/ indian traders?


Hi again, Noir. As far as I know, there is no distinct Indian/kalinga community in Cambodia. All were absorbed by the Khmer people already. However, just like I mentioned to you previously, there is a continuous group of descendants of the original Brahmins who still live with the Khmer royalties. The coronation of a Khmer king can never be done without the Hindu ceremonies and rituals. So the continuation is there. The Hindu ceremonies and rituals were so important to the Khmer Kings. For example, when declaring independence from the Javanese domination, one Khmer king summoned his Brahmin advisors to perform the rituals and ceremonies to bestow upon him the Vishnu avatar. Since he represented Vishnu on earth, he had no fear of any of his enemies.

Remember also that the Khmer people were disunited and subjugated for over 500 years by the foreigners. The Khmer only rose again in the late 1950's when the nation gained its independence from France, but was pulled back into the Vietnam War and the second IndoChina War all over again. Actually, Cambodia just started again in 1993 to develop itself.

In modern Cambodia, you can easily see members of the Indian people, but they are not of the ancient Kalinga/Indian members. This same thing goes to the Chinese members. These Chinese people are not of the ancient Chinese settlers.

Hope this helps. I must admit that some of the Kalinga customs are still owned by the Khmer people. So you must be careful about saying that the Khmer borrowed or copied it from the Indians. They don't like that. Consider the famous Hindu story of Ramayana: The Angkorean Khmer called it the Reamkaer or "The heritage of the elders". biggthumpup.gif




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mushrooms
post Aug 20 2008, 09:23 PM
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I would say closest things to a Hindu are the Brahmins that server for the king in the royal palace. I dunno..
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Congradufuckalat...
post Aug 20 2008, 09:27 PM
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I remember seeing in Indian woman shopping in Psar Thmey xD
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AsiaNETIK
post Aug 20 2008, 09:55 PM
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QUOTE(superlottoplaya @ Aug 20 2008, 06:20 PM) [snapback]3883283[/snapback]
from some historical videos i've seen on angkor watt history, they said that the area cambodia was a trade zone for india and china, the two powerhouses in the ancient world. i believe the khmers there were more in touch with india then china at first. now cambodia, is much more chinese influence. i heard that the tools used to build angkor watt were tools invented in india. there are people living in india that look like us. thus, the technology used were developed in india. we might have been an extension of indian civilization which was and still is diverse. the same way japan and korea are an extension of chinese civilization. what i wonder is, did east asians pick up buddhism from trading with us, or did they pick it up directly from india. this is big considering the mindset of east asians. seems like they only pick up from people they respect as intellectuals also. if u think about it, cambodia might be the only great civilization in southeast asia. and because khmer civilization is just a small piece of what it was in the past, east asians don't respect us anymore. its because of the power hungry neighbors from the west and east of us who til this day is still trying to take over our country and claiming it as their own. its like two hundred years from now, mexicans take up a third of the u.s. present land and makes everyone speaks spanish.


You have to realize that there were already indigenous people already settling there. I don't think our lineage came from Indian people first at all, but intermixed afterward.
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masterchief
post Aug 21 2008, 05:18 AM
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what the hell embarassedlaugh.gif the indians who came to srok khmer were traders & hindu-buddhist missionaries. they came over 2 thousands years ago. traders from india had to stay in kambo for half the year & wait for the monsoon trade winds to take them back home. hindu & buddhist missionaries also came with the traders. it's from these people we khmer get our hindu-buddhist influence in our culture today. there was never a big settlement of indians in kambo like people think. only small groups of traders & missionaries were in kambo. these indians never made an impact on our population embarassedlaugh.gif but they did influence our khmer culture. there are probably khmer who are decendant of these traders but only like 1% of the khmer population embarassedlaugh.gif

indian influence on khmer is through culture & religion not in our d.n.a. the khmer people are related to other south east asians like mon, malay, phillipino, indonesians & even the polynesians in the pacific. all these people look like us khmer, coz we all have similar ancestors. indian blood is not in heritage, but their culture & religion is.
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sonofgunongjerai
post Aug 21 2008, 05:33 AM
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Kleng????? It is almost identical with Malay equivalent of Indian shich is Keling. Derived from Kalingga, it is a place in south India I guess. Also an ancient Hindu Kingdom in Java is called Kalingga.
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superlottoplaya
post Aug 21 2008, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE(AsiaNETIK @ Aug 20 2008, 09:55 PM) [snapback]3883439[/snapback]
You have to realize that there were already indigenous people already settling there. I don't think our lineage came from Indian people first at all, but intermixed afterward.


but, how do we know what original khmers look like. i mean if u think about it, they say there is only three races of people european, africans, and asians which is mongoloid and possibly what ever aryan or what indian people look like. could southeast asians be a cross of just mongoloid features and indian features. its a very good possibility. i guess the only way is to see how a chinese and an indian would breed a person to look like. because if u are saying idigenous people had a certain look of their own, then u are saying there might be another race of people.

This post has been edited by superlottoplaya: Aug 21 2008, 03:51 PM
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khmaisoldier94
post Aug 21 2008, 08:43 PM
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Your third question: "...are there still hindus living in cambodia?" The answer is absolutely yes. During the 13th century, the Khmer Hindus were turncoats who betrayed the Khmer kings and went to work for the Siamese of Sukothai and Ayuthaya. In fact even the descendants of the Khmer Hindus from that era still work for the present-day Thai king. During the coronation of Khmer King Ang Duong in the 1800's after the Siamese and the Vietnamese made a peace treaty, there were Khmer and "Thai" Brahmins performing the royal ceremony and rituals.



This post has been edited by khmaisoldier94: Aug 21 2008, 08:44 PM
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sonofgunongjerai
post Aug 22 2008, 02:30 AM
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I don't think that only Khmer will be angry if people say about Indian loan culture. Most people in SEA had Indian as their ancestor, they may be Kambujas, Yavanas, or Pallavas. Brahmana, Kshetria, or Vaisyah.

And one more thing, the existance of Mon, Khmer, Malay, and others indigenous group in SEA are actually mentioned in Mahabharata and Ramayana, there are also our relatives scattered in India who are from Naga tribes. The words like Gurung (Nepali)/Gunong (Malay)/Gulong/Kurung (Siamese absorbed into T'ai vocab) for the cities being build on the mountain area explained about our ancestors who are the Nagas.
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RY12
post Aug 22 2008, 06:37 AM
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QUOTE(preahvihear @ Aug 20 2008, 02:02 PM) [snapback]3882660[/snapback]
Your next question "Did Indians mix with the Khmer at some point in history?" The answer is absolutely yes. You can easily find that mixed lineages in the common present-day Cambodian physical features. The evidence can also be found in the Khmer value of beauty and literature. Dr. Michael Tranet wrote that in the ancient time the Kalinga mixed with the Khmer women. Khmer people do not call Indian people as "Indian", but as "Kleng" instead. The French in the 1800s also noted that the Khmer people look different from other people in "IndoChina". The Khmer were noted to be taller and have straighter noses and wavy hair texture. embarassedlaugh.gif However, you MUST also learn the Khmer people were mixed with the Chinese as well.


I'm sorry, but I've spent a lot of time in Cambodia and I just have never seen these supposed 'Indian' features in the Khmer that the old books talk about. I mean, like one time one month I'd see a Khmer guy that had a big straight nose and big eyes, but he probably just had a Indian father and wasn't some ancient remanant of Indian traders like you talk about. The general consensus I've heard about the races in SE Asia, and what I've observed, is that there is a continuum from the pure indigneous SE Asians, Austro-Asiatics, who look like the Australian Aborigines, to the white-skinned Chinese type. The history of SE Asia has been a serious of migrations from Southern China down into these Aboriginal lands. Generally, the whiter the skin, the more recent the group's arrival in the area. For example, the hill people in Cambodia are much darker than the classical Khmer people who built Angkor, who in turn, are darker than many modern Phnom Penh families who are part Chinese. I for one think the classical Khmer look like on the Bayon is the sexiest and most beautiful biggthumpup.gif of course most Khmers and other SE Asias seem to like the boring southern-chinese look.

I must admit though, a half-Indian half-Khmer girl would be really hot!
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applepannic
post Aug 22 2008, 06:42 AM
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QUOTE
I'm sorry, but I've spent a lot of time in Cambodia and I just have never seen these supposed 'Indian' features in the Khmer that the old books talk about. I mean, like one time one month I'd see a Khmer guy that had a big straight nose and big eyes, but he probably just had a Indian father and wasn't some ancient remanant of Indian traders like you talk about. The general consensus I've heard about the races in SE Asia, and what I've observed, is that there is a continuum from the pure indigneous SE Asians, Austro-Asiatics, who look like the Australian Aborigines, to the white-skinned Chinese type. The history of SE Asia has been a serious of migrations from Southern China down into these Aboriginal lands. Generally, the whiter the skin, the more recent the group's arrival in the area. For example, the hill people in Cambodia are much darker than the classical Khmer people who built Angkor, who in turn, are darker than many modern Phnom Penh families who are part Chinese. I for one think the classical Khmer look like on the Bayon is the sexiest and most beautiful biggthumpup.gif of course most Khmers and other SE Asias seem to like the boring southern-chinese look.

I must admit though, a half-Indian half-Khmer girl would be really hot!


I totally disagree. I seen youtube videos and photos of tribal people in Cambodia who actually had lighter skin then their lowland neighbors. And also, Austro-Asiatic consist of two racially distinct people, those in the Munda branch are exactly like Indians and Bangladeshi and those in Southeast Asia and northeast India who look exactly like Cambodians, Thais Burmese and Laos.
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RY12
post Aug 22 2008, 07:00 AM
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QUOTE(applepannic @ Aug 22 2008, 06:42 AM) [snapback]3886147[/snapback]
I totally disagree. I seen youtube videos and photos of tribal people in Cambodia who actually had lighter skin then their lowland neighbors. And also, Austro-Asiatic consist of two racially distinct people, those in the Munda branch are exactly like Indians and Bangladeshi and those in Southeast Asia and northeast India who look exactly like Cambodians, Thais Burmese and Laos.


Yes you're right, I was using the older meaning of 'Austro-Asiatic' which basically just means the ethniciy which wikipedia calls 'Australoid' or 'Negrito'. Now 'Austro-Asiatic' refers to the language group you mentioned. It is true that some tribal/hill people are whiter, usually the ones closest to Vietnam, but I've seen in person tribal people waaay out in the sticks who, if they changed their clothes, would look like American blacks, and even if they didn't, would still look out of place in Phnom Penh.
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