Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Deciding What to Wear

The weather in the Napa Valley has been positively glorious these past few days, and now that it's so much warmer, I can go back to my colorful sarongs and halter tops for these tropical dinners, which turns out to be perfect in this case, since the sarong is one of the traditional garments of Cambodia, worn by both men and women. However, the Cambodian people are quite conservative in certain aspects of their clothing, and it is considered immodest to bare one's shoulders, midriff or legs.

Cambodia also has several other traditional garments: the sampot, which is a women's cotton or silk skirt with a soft pleat in the front; the krama, which is a rectangular length of cloth worn as a headdress, shawl or scarf; the hol, a simple woman's shirt; and the phamuong, a silk dress with a patterned border at the hem. In the metropolitan areas, most Cambodian people wear western-style clothing for business.