Samdech Chuon Nath (1883-1969) lived during a time when Cambodian cultural traditions were being threatened by foreign influences in Cambodia under French colonization. He was a monk that lead a “Khmerization” movement to help bring attention to Cambodian nationalism and to grow and preserve Khmer culture and identity. His notable accomplishments were his efforts in the translation of the entire Buddhist text from the Pali cannon into the Khmer language, he wrote the Khmer language dictionary and largely contributed to the Cambodian national anthem, Nokoreach.
Cambodian National Anthem translated to English
All Khmers, please remember the root and history of our great country
Our boundary was wide and well known
Others always thought highly of our race
And always placed our race as the elders.
We have great heritage and culture
Which has spread far and wide in the Far East.
Religion, arts and education,
Music, philosophy and strategies are all that we have spread.
All Khmers, please remember our roots and history
Which speaks of the grandeur of our great race
Make up your mind and body and try hard to rebuild
In order to lift the value of our nation
To once again rise to the greatness that we once had.