From days to days, the time, action of humanity and the natural phenomena are gradually deteriorating the ancient Khmer temples. In the face with this situation, the some temples need to have been subsequently repaired. Along with the works of the concerning institutions, all Khmer ancient temples need to be paid attention, maintained, and provided value from the constantly whole Khmer people.
Cambodia is the only one country on the globe, consisting of an icon of temple in the flag. This is a testament indicating that the ancient temples have been closely related with the lives of Cambodian people since the ancient time. With the influence from India, the Khmer kings started to construct the temples to dedicate to the deities and religions. Or otherwise, the temples were built to represent for the Himalayan peak, as the abode of the deities. Furthermore, the temples were constructed to dedicate to the fire or to dedicate to any important individual.
The temples were first presented in the Khmer territory in Chenla period – during the 6th century of AD. From day to day, the ancient temples are gradually deteriorated by the actions of humanity and the natural phenomena. Of the approximately 1,000 ancient temples across the Cambodia, nearly 400 have collapsed. Based on a report by the Ministry of Culture and Fines Art in 2010 showed that there were only more than 500 temples were in well condition.
With the aim to keep those temples stay longer, it is observed that the Ministry of Culture and other related institutions have much worked. Some temples need to have been repaired and other some are just preserved. However, only the works of the concerning institutions are not enough, all Khmer ancient temples need to be paid attention, maintained, and provided value from the constantly whole Khmer people. Nowadays, despite of Cambodian people, the youths in particular have presented a loving heart and valued on heritages and ancient temples, it is noted that the loving heart for all of those ancient temples is not shown in practical actions yet. Some Cambodian people have compared the ancient temples to a stone such as: visiting to the temples is like looking at a stone.
As other some, the youths in particular, have taken the stones to draw on the walls of the temples in their own names or in other letters. Even littering in heritage sites is a popular practice for Cambodians.Based on experts, Cambodians have loved the heritage properties, particularly the ancient temples that are scattered throughout the country. But the above mentioned misconduct is due to the limited understanding of the value of heritage as important to a nation. Even though those temples were built of earth, brick or stone, the ancient temples are the legacy of Khmer ancestors built for future generations.
The ancient temples that have endured for hundreds of years under storms and the flames of war are a testament to the long history and identity of the Khmer people. Ancient temples are like national souls. In this sense, people, especially youths, who claim to be patriotic, should be careful about their attitude towards ancient temples. Improper actions such as drawing on the temple or throwing rubbish in the temple grounds are enough to change.