Cambodia has many legends about the beginnings of its country. These
stories are accepted and quoted, without concern about which one
is “true” or “right”. They just are. Khmer legends also frequently mix
Hinduism, Buddhism, and spirit worship, with no apparent concern about inconsistencies or contradictions.
Folktales grew from the imagination and the lives of people and remain popular both with adults and children. They are simple to understand with no complicated plot involved, they are short, and sometimes humorous, passed through from generation to generation, the stories have sometimes altered during the retelling process. Ordinary characters become bigger than life, situations exaggerated.
They have provided explanations for natural occurrences and lessons on life and morality.
The sense of justice is always there, the good character will be rewarded and the evil one always gets punished at the end. Folktales may lead to a better understanding of customs and culture.
Here are the folktales from a series of booklets published in 1974 by Cambodia’s Buddhist Institute. So enjoy!