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The institution of kingship, which was reestablished in 1993, is an important national symbol, especially in rural areas, where devotion to the king never died out during the socialist period.

It is not clear to what extent the symbolism of kingship can be separated from its current embodiment in Norodom Sihanouk.

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Since independence, every flag except the one used by the United Nations when it administered the country in 1993 has featured the image of Angkor Wat.

Classical dance, also an important national symbol, consciously tries in costume and gesture to recreate Angkorean bas-reliefs.

There are no reliable statistics for ethnic populations, although the Khmer population is certainly the largest.

A 1993 demographic study estimated that Khmer represented 88.7 percent of the population; Vietnamese, 5.2 percent; Cham, 2.5 percent; Chinese, 1 percent; and others (Thai, Lao, and smaller minority groups in the north and northeast), 2.6 percent. The dominant Khmer language belongs to the Austroasiatic language family and is related to Vietnamese, Mon, and a number of other Asian languages.

In the fifteenth century, the capital was moved to the area of the intersection of the Sap and Mekong rivers, near present-day Phnom Penh, perhaps to enhance trade.

The most densely populated areas now are along the rivers in the provinces near Phnom Penh. According to a 1998 census, the population is 11.42 million.

From 1970 to 1975, the country was known as the Khmer Republic (KR). Cambodia lies between Thailand and Vietnam in mainland southeast Asia, with a smaller stretch of the northern border adjoining Laos.

The most central region culturally and economically is the lowland flood plain of the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake.

The Khmer in Thailand are well integrated into the Thai state, with few significant links to Cambodia.

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