Thai women and Cambodian women certainly have got much in common, since their counties have centuries-old shared history. But at the same time they are very different. Let’s find out what is the difference between them.
1. Thai women live in more patriarchal families than the Cambodians
Although Thailand belongs to civilized countries, a lot of old traditions have preserved to this day. And that’s no surprise, because major reforms started to be undertaken in this country just a hundred years ago. Many of these traditions may seem strange to people from the West.
Modern Thai women don’t differ much from females living in other countries; they go to work, build a career, raise kids, meet with friends and so forth.
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However, they still abide by some old strict rules. For example, a Thai woman used to obey her husband in all things back in the day, and the Thai society hasn’t changed much in this regard since then. It has been and remains patriarchal.
Today, this centuries-old tradition manifests itself in a prohibition on touching a monarch and in the rejection of the use of pronouns such as “I” and “me” in the presence of a husband.
The thing is that the use of these pronouns speaks to a woman’s pretensions to self-reliance and independence.
That’s why when a female talks to somebody in front of her husband, she calls herself in the third person.
In contrast to a Thai family, a Cambodian one is matriarchal. Historically, Cambodian women follow the practice of hypergamy, a custom of marrying a person who belongs to a class or caste that is no lower than the wife’s one. This makes it almost impossible for a husband to dominate his wife.
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2. Cambodian females are less likely to become not the only wife of her husband
A Thai woman can not only expect to become someone’s official wife, but also get the role of somebody’s “little wife”.
Male polygamy is a common occurrence in Thailand, despite the fact that this practice is prohibited by law. A man is not allowed to have more than one wife, but Thai men often get themselves a second wife (mia noi), and many official Thai wives tolerate such a practice.
Nevertheless, there are many females who aren’t ready to put up with their men’s infidelity. And the revenge often consists of damaging or even removing their husbands’ manhood.
That’s why many men are afraid of informing their wives that they have several affairs.
As opposed to Thai women, Cambodian ones usually don’t become “little wives”. The point is that Cambodian family has a clan-based structure. There are accustomed to maintaining a strong contact with all their family members and be closer to them.
Moreover, family and its values are the important part of the Cambodians’ life, which is hardly surprising considering that they have recently gone through a war and genocide.
3. Thai females are more vindictive and jealous than their Cambodian counterparts
Cambodian women usually forgive their husbands for anything. They accept everything their men do with a smile. The reason for such a strange response to what men do lies in their religion. Buddhists have no concept of heaven and hell as such.
The Cambodians believe that heaven and hell exist within an individual’s mind. In other words, wise people create paradise on earth with the help of positive thinking, whereas fools live in hell on earth, because they fill their world with negative emotions, such as hatred, anger, envy and so on.
This is the reason why Cambodian women tend to smile – they don’t want to destroy their inner heaven. Of course, there is an exception to every rule. Unfaithfulness is the rare occasion that makes some Cambodian women mad, and even then, a man has to be caught red-handed to make a local lady angry.
Thai women, for their part, are more jealous, vengeful and vindictive than the Cambodians, despite being Buddhists, too. Thai girls will continue to revenge you even after you break up with them, for example, by spilling secrets that you trusted her with.
4. Thai women enjoy a luxurious post-natal period, as compared to Cambodian girls
What does a woman normally do after giving birth to a child? As a rule, she is resting for several days, only being distracted by a need to feed a baby, and then a newly minted mother is being discharged from hospital.
In Thailand, they do things differently. A new mother is supposed to go through a special ritual which is called “u-fi” and literally translated as “the preservation of heat”. It is a set of procedures that enables a woman to rejuvenate and regain her strength.
During the first week of a post-natal period, a Thai lady is having a rest. Meanwhile, her close relatives assume the responsibility for a newly born child. In a week, special people begin to warm up a female with the help of massage, sesame oil and curative herbs, which are selected individually.
They mainly massage an abdominal region. The herbs are put into heated sacks and put on a woman’s stomach, and she is resting surrounded by warmth during a month. The woman normally has a blanket wrapped around her body, eats warm food and drinks a hot tea.
Cambodian women generally don’t enjoy such a long rest after they give birth to a child, since Cambodian living standards have not been as high as Thai ones so far. That’s why local newly minted mothers need to get back to work as soon as possible to earn a living.
5. Cambodian females are more submissive than Thai ones
Cambodian women are known for their smiles and submissiveness, whereas Thai men often lament their female compatriots’ fussy temper. For this reason, many Thai males marry Cambodian females.
Thailand is economically more developed country than Cambodia. The latter has quite recently gone through a revolution and scary civil war, which ended in the 1990s. That’s why a lot of Cambodian women leave for Thailand to work and at the same time seek to find a future husband in this country.
In case of a Thai man and Cambodian female marriage, the man gets a submissive wife who is much less picky than Thai one.
If a Thai wife wants to divorce her husband, she won’t think twice, because she always has her family around her, which will accept and support her. A Cambodian female, for her part, will face difficult living conditions with the lack of money and the absence of close relatives around her.
6. Thai parents charge high bride price for their daughters
When Thai parents marry off their daughters, they make huge demands of a potential fiancée. They can ask you to give them a large amount of money or buy a new car as a bride price.
Marrying a Cambodian female is a very different story. A Cambodian bride’s family makes quite modest demands of a groom.
As a rule, they request so-called “charges for milk”, which a bride used to feed on as a baby.
Moreover, historically, the Cambodians marry matrilocally, that is, it’s a son-in-law who moves to his parents-in-law after marriage, and not a daughter-in-law. That’s why a husband and kids born in wedlock are an addition to a bride’s family only. Even in case of divorce, the kids remain in their mother’s home.
As you can see, despite being neighboring countries, Thailand and Cambodia have different traditions and customs, not to mention living standards, the level of economic development and recent historic experience. That’s why Cambodian and Thai women are so different from each other.