Theravada, which literally translates to School of the Elders, is the oldest branch of Buddhism that has perpetually existed to this date. It preserves the teachings of Buddha unaltered in the Pāli Canon, which is an agglomeration of ancient Buddhist passages written in the Pāli language –a language idiosyncratic to the Indian subcontinent– as its core belief. The Pāli Canon also comprises sundry traditions, customs, and practices of other cultures; due to its long perennial history of interacting with said cultures. Theravada Buddhism is the most practiced form of religion in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. It is also embraced in China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Vietnam by minority groups.