July 17, 2014 @ MoC
[ KHMER / PALI languages ]
[in Khmer]: color, chroma, light; family pedigree (people), family; social class/rank, caste
[in Pali ]: cover, coating, appearance, color
According to the Brahman religion, there are 4 social classes: priests and religious preachers, royalty, high officials and merchants, and laborers.
Traditionally each class wore a characteristic color of dress – white for the first class, red for the second, yellow for the third and black for the fourth. As a result of this tradition, the word ‘vanna’ has come to mean ‘social class’ too. At the present time this practice only applies to royalty and the priestly class. It only applies to royalty during formal royal ceremonies, and the other colors are red, green. purple and blue which correspond to the four principal ranks within the royal administration. The colors red, green, purple and blue also apply to religious ranks, and are to be seen only on the monks’ fans.
Vanna also means ‘decor’, ‘congratulation’, grace, good reputation, figure, kind, style.