Cambodia’s culture is world-renowned but some of the country’s timeless traditions are slowly disappearing. Local spirit houses for example are becoming less popular due to foreign imports.
“The reason why I create my spirit house, which cost up to 5000 dollars, is that I want to brighten Khmer tradition, maintain the country’s heritage and stop the import of Thai spirit houses,” says spirit houses' maker Ouat Sokom.
He also added that in order to distinguish between Khmer and Thai spirit houses, people need to consider differences in colour and pillar styles.
Ouat Sokom says that Khmer spirit houses share stylistic similarities with the royal palace and old temples, with colours of light yellow and green.
The style of the pillars resemble lotus flowers and garuda legs.
Thai spirit houses, by contrast, do not have sharp pillars on top and use dark colours adorned with dragons in a square style.
“As a Cambodian, we should use Cambodian spirit houses because if we use other ones, our valuable tradition will disappear one day,” Ouat Sokom says.
If you want to buy a spirit house, there are suppliers at Choum Chouv and shops near Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC).