//Cultural and Economic Contributions as the Topic

Cultural and Economic Contributions as the Topic

Honey & Bell Co., Ltd.
Managing Director Mr. Yosuke Kanae

– First of all, what do you think about the health consciousness among Cambodian people?

The international health boom may be influencing Cambodia in some way. I feel that people in Cambodia, especially young people, are getting more and more interested in health as well as organic products and fitness.

– Is it limited to only a group of people?

It’s probably true for only a number of people for now, but this tendency is surely spreading wide. For example, there is an increase in the number of enterprises that are involved in enlightenment activities at the grassroots. Those enterprises include companies selling natural healthy food like ours and shops specializing in organic products. Besides, an association called COrAA (Cambodian Organic Agriculture Association) which is a certification authority on organic products was created almost 10 years ago and started to slowly gain recognition from more and more people. Our company is also getting too many inquiries related to this issue, not only from people in Phnom Penh but also from those in provinces as well. So, I feel that health consciousness is rising among people in the whole of Cambodia.

– Regarding the beauty culture in Cambodia, it becomes a tradition for people to pay the most attention to getting beautiful white skin. Is there anything else besides this?

Besides the beautiful white skin, attention also goes to diet and skin care. The next most asked questions are concerning hair care. Maybe because there are a lot of beautiful girls in Cambodia, attention on beauty in this country is originally high. It is natural that every girl wants to look cute and beautiful (laugh). At this point, it is a natural flow that people will start to pay more attention to general health.

– I heard what you just said, and I myself used to notice that more people were using bicycles. Do you think they are doing it because of diet and their health?

Yes, it’s probably true. Not only bicycles, but people are also getting much influence from foreign cultures on other matters. For example, we just talked about stores that are selling organic products. Actually, in the beginning, it started with grocery stores and convenience stores which targeted foreigners, but then the demand started to increase, and stores specializing in organic products began to grow in number.
However, although there is an increase in these kinds of stores due to people’s desire to become healthier and more beautiful, I think that most of them are neglecting the basic knowledge about health and beauty.
For example, in Japan, there are a lot of books and websites that are created by specialists, but in Cambodia, there are not many sources that provide these kinds of information (Facebook is becoming more and more popular, though). So, I think that it is also important for enterprises that are providing choices of products or services to actively share with people the related knowledge and information as well.
For example, what our company is doing to contribute to this kind of activity is that we are creating and distributing guidelines about simple and easy diets. What is the so-called calorie? What is the definition of basal metabolism? Why do some people get fat? Why do some people stay slim? and so on. We are sharing basic knowledge and information so people be able to stick to a healthy enjoyable diet more easily.
It is possible to be on a diet that is more effective, more beautiful, and healthier if we can understand properly things such as what our ideal weight is or what our most suitable pace in losing weight should be, etc.
In Cambodia, the control of the medical system and the pharmaceutical affairs law is still weak, and I used to hear sad news talking about health damage caused by suspicious supplements.
In our guidelines, we emphasize the fact that beauty and health should come as a set. It’s just a matter of choice, and it is what our information is all about.
I absolutely understand the feeling of wanting to see the result as soon as possible, but for example, there is such a truth that a healthy diet is a diet with which you can lose weight not more than 5% of your current weight in one month as an appropriate pace. There is other similar important basic knowledge that will not only benefit you but will also be useful in protecting your dearest people’s health around you.
To share these kinds of materials with people in a way that is easy to understand but accurate and enjoyable is one of our company’s missions.
In Cambodia, there are a lot of beautiful girls, and it is a great delight if we can contribute, even just a little, to create a culture of Healthy Beauty in Cambodia.

– Do you have anything else to share with us?

Cambodia is experiencing rapid economic growth, and not only the beauty and health, but the diversification of food is also happening in this country. You can find much instant food and fast-food restaurants easily. In this kind of living condition which is full of choices, it is common to think that people should be provided with a standard of reference (knowledge or information) for making decisions. And this provision should be done by every enterprise as one of their company missions when they introduce their products and services to people.

By the way, surprisingly, what about Southeast Asia that is not widely known so far is that Southeast Asia is actually a treasure trove full of many agricultural products having a strong antioxidation effect. This might be one of the advantages of being under the strong sunlight of this area.
If you just go to some local restaurants, you will notice that there is a wide variety of food including meat, fish, rice, noodles, soup, dessert, snacks, etc. which contain many nutritious ingredients or some others that are often called a superfood. It’s also reflecting the wisdom of our ancestors. We would like to make use of this geographical advantage in Cambodia to extend its natural healthy food to the world.
Cambodia is now at a big turning point in its economic and cultural growth. We hope that we can partially contribute to this important transition in this country.