Cambodian Canadians

Cambodian Canadians are Canadians of Cambodian ethnic origin or descent. There are a total of 38,490 Canadian Cambodians,[1] most of whom reside in Toronto and Montreal.

Aside from their primary language of Khmer, many Cambodians are known to also speak French and English. Buddhism, Catholicism and Christianity are common religions among Cambodian-Canadians.

Cambodian Canadians
Total population
(0.1% of Canada's population)
Regions with significant populations
Quebec, Ontario, Alberta
Khmer, Quebec French, Cambodian French, Canadian English
Theravada Buddhism, Roman Catholic
Related ethnic groups
Cambodians, Cambodian Americans


During the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, nearly two million Cambodians were enslaved and forced into unpaid labors under the tyranny of the Khmer Rouge regime, by which they were brutally tortured, massacred, and discriminated against at large. The tragedies and destruction from this period resulted in a large wave of Cambodian refugees, most of whom migrated to Canada, the U.S., France and Australia. In 1981, there were 13,000 Cambodian-Canadian Refugees,[2] with most of the population settling into major cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Quebec City. The Jane and Finch neighborhood of Toronto boasts a visible Cambodian population, in which they make up about 4% of the community.[3] By 2016, the number of Cambodians in Canada had risen to 38,490.[1]


Cambodians are generally known as advocates of Buddhism, following a syncretic blend of Buddhist traditions and the teachings of various ethnic religions. The Cambodian communities of Canada annually celebrate their New Year in April, and Ancestors' Day in October. Other notable celebrations include Victory Day and those revolving around Cambodian arts and music.

The festival of Ancestors' Day, or "Pchum Ben", is the remembrance of the deceased. On this day is when Cambodians pay their respects to deceased relatives and ancestors.


In 1979, elder members of the Cambodian-Canadian community established the CCAO (Cambodian-Canadian Association of Ontario); other community organizations of Cambodian foundation include the Khmer Buddhist Group.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables".
  2. ^ "Cambodia Migration and Refugees - Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System".
  3. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "2011 National Household Survey Profile - Census tract".
Asian Canadians

Asian Canadians are Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to the continent of Asia or Asian people. Canadians with Asian ancestry comprise the largest and fastest growing visible minority group in Canada, with roughly 17.7% of the Canadian population. Most Asian Canadians are concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, the Greater Vancouver area, Calgary, and other large Canadian cities.

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as East Asian Canadian (e.g. Chinese Canadians, Korean Canadians, Japanese Canadians); South Asian Canadians (e.g. Bangladeshi Canadians, Indian Canadians, Pakistani Canadians, Sri Lankan Canadians); Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g. Filipino Canadians, Vietnamese Canadians); or West Asian Canadians (e.g. Iranian Canadians, Iraqi Canadians, Lebanese Canadians).

Cambodian Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area

Toronto's Cambodian population comprises 6,000 people. In 1999, 98% of Cambodians in Toronto identified themselves as Khmer people.

Cambodians first arrived to Canada as a result of the 1970s' Cambodian Genocide, a four-year period in which nearly 2 million Cambodians were murdered. Their community would originate in Jane and Finch, and as they diversified in profession and status, many relocated into other cities such as Vaughan, Newmarket, and Hamilton.

Cambodia–Canada relations

Canada has diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Canadian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is also accredited to Cambodia, and has an office in Phnom Penh. Cambodia is represented in Canada through its UN mission in New York City.

Effects of genocide on youth

The effects of genocide on youth include psychological and demographic effects that affect the transition into adulthood. These effects are also seen in future generations of youth.

Demographic effects involve the transfer of children during genocides. In cases of transfer, children are moved or displaced from their homes into boarding schools, adoptive families, or to new countries with or without their families. There are significant shifts in populations in the countries that experience these genocides. Often, children are then stripped of their cultural identity and assimilated into the culture that they have been placed into.

Unresolved trauma of genocide affects future generations of youth. Intergenerational effects help explain the background of these children and analyze how these experiences shape their futures. Effects include the atmosphere of the household they grew up in, pressures to succeed or act in specific ways, and how they view the world in which they live.

The passing down of narratives and stories are what form present day perceptions of the past. Narratives are what form future generations' ideas of the people who were either victimized or carried out the genocide. As youth of future generations process the stories they hear they create their own perception of it and begin to identify with a specific group in the story. Youth of future generations begin to form their identity through the narratives they hear as they begin to relate to it and see how the genocide affects them. As stories are passed down, children also begin to understand what their parents or grandparents went through. They use narratives as explanation of why their parents talk about it in the way they do or do not talk about it all.Psychological effects of genocide are also relevant in youth. Youth who experience an extreme trauma at an early age are often incapable of fully understanding the event that took place. As this generation of children transition into adulthood, they sort out the event and recognize the psychological effects of the genocide. It is typical for these young survivors to experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as other psychological disorders.

Transitioning out of youth and into adulthood is an important development marker in the lives of all people. Youth who transition into adulthood during a genocide have a different experience than those who do not transition during a genocide. Some youth transition earlier as means of survival. Others are unable to fully transition, remaining in a youth state longer.

List of Canadians of Asian ancestry

This is a list of Canadians of Asian ancestry. Asian Canadians comprise the largest visible minority in Canada, at 11% of the Canadian population.

Canadian people
and society
List of
Canadians of Asian descent by area of origin
Central Asia
East Asia
Southeast Asia
South Asia
West Asia
Cambodian diaspora

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