Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Frangipani - Lantom

On a recent trip to Thailand, my hosts shared with me an interesting perspective to the humble frangipani (Plumeria). Apparently the Thais associate the origins of the frangipani with Nakon Thom, which is the Thai for Angkor Thom. For them, the common name for the flower is 'lan-thom' or 'leelawadee'.

Like many South East Asian countries, the white frangipani is associated with sorrow and death. Lantom actually means 'sorrow'.

I did a search for frangipani in South East Asia and was quite surprised that many countries actually do make associations with Cambodia, e.g. "Kembang Kamboja" in Indonesia, "Temple Tree" or "Champa" in India, "Champey" in Cambodia, "Champa" in Laos (source Wikipedia).

I don't really know what the basis is for these associations. Apparently the flowering tree originates from South America. If there is anyone out there who has the answer please post a reply, or just email me.


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