1 Comment

The Cham script is falling in danger of becoming unreadable within a few decades as the mainly-Muslim Cham community in Cambodia have adopted to Arabic scripts.

Cham Writing Founders Under Malay, Arabic
VOA News, 13 January 2010

Emiko Stock, a French anthropologist who has studied the Cham, a minority Muslim group in Cambodia, for the past decade, said only a few elder Chams can still read documents written in the Cham language.

“Now there are just a few old Cham literates left,” she said, “so it is a great concern that in the next five to 20 years, there will probably be no one who can read or understand poems, history or other documents in Cham.”

Cham illiteracy could result in the loss of Cham tradition, history and culture as a whole, said Stock, who speaks Khmer fluently.

Cham scripts are still in use by Cham people in Vietnam, who are mostly Hindu. Cambodia’s half a million Cham, who fled the fallen kingdom of Champa in today’s Vietnam, tend to use Arabic rather than Cham.

Found this site useful? Show support by Buying Me a Coffee

Categories: Cambodia


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.