Featured country: Cambodia
A constitutional monarchy officially known as the “Kingdom of Cambodia,” Cambodia is located on the Indochina Peninsula, surrounded on three sides by Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. Ninety-five per cent of the nearly 15 million people in the country follow Buddhism, though historically Cambodia was greatly influenced politically and culturally by Hinduism. In fact, the nation’s most visited and revered monument of Angkor Wat was originally constructed by the Khmer king, Suryavarman II in the 12th century as a Hindu religious complex. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, and is portrayed on the nation’s flag. In the 20th century, Cambodia achieved independence in 1953 from France, which had colonized the country since the mid-19th century. After the Vietnam War, a devastating genocide of over 2 million people occurred from 1975-1979 by the Khmer Rouge. Taking decades to recover, today Cambodia is experiencing some of the strongest cultural and economic growth in Asia through tourism to its beautiful heritage sites, textiles and the garment industry, and agriculture. And currently, the University of Cincinnati has two Cambodian undergraduate students on campus.