Cambodia is called by Westerners derived from French term “Cambodge”. But for Cambodian themselves have called their country Kampuchea. Kampuchea has its original root of word from hermit “Kambu” who married with Mera ( ancient inscription). Kambu and Mera have become the ancestor of modern Kampuchean. Through the legend, Kambu is claimed as the son of Sun; and Mera is claimed as the daughter of Moon. Pre-angkorean inscription had proclaimed the clan of Cambodia came from the harmony of Sun and Moon.
Khmer is the name of their language and race. Among ancient tribes in this land, Khmer tribe was strongest and flexible. Their first kingdom was adopted at the mountain that China’s traders called “Kingdom of Funan”. Funan is wrong pronounced by Chinese traders. Its correct pronunciation is Phnom means mountain in Khmer language.
However, Khmer were not mountainous people. They had their own development of civilization; and they were very genius to adopt other culture and invented it to be their own. As Kampuchea country extended in the line between two giant world civilizations: China and India; they had tremendously combined and adjusted them to be uniquely Khmer culture. Blending has been always good for Khmer people.
The first capital city of Khmer people was Angkor Borei located in Oc Eo in modern Takeo province of Kampuchea Krom. This place is significantly considered the beginning of Khmer civilization. It is the ancient port which Chinese and Indian traders came to exchange their products. They had to pay tax to Khmer people. Khmer people learned to develop their country in both social infrastructure and education system very fast from this interchanging of commercial interact. Through this smart adaptation Cambodia has become one of the greatest kingdoms of the world.