In 2014 Cambodia’s first cultural policy came into effect, according to the author and programme manager of the Knowledge, Networks and Policy at Cambodian Living Arts, So Phina.
Through binding culture and national economic development, the policy is expected to strengthen the Kingdom’s national prestige and promote cultural diversity.
Using this policy artist’s in the country have been able to pursue their chosen career with the financial assistance allocated by the government.
Speaking to approximately 20 youths at the roundtable discussion under the topic “Understanding Cambodian’s Cultural Policy” at Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Cambodia on Saturday, Phina revealed that there are many talented artists in Cambodia who are giving up their traditional career in art and culture because they could not make a living wage.
“Some artists had give-up and leave their career and find other work because they cannot earn enough money. So imagine if all stop their work because of this problem, we would lose this cultural knowledge forever,” explained Phina.
Phina said that cultural policy is a government policy, programme, and activity that regulates and encourages through financial incentives to creative arts such as music, painting, sculpture, dance, literature, etc. She added that if good cultural policy is implemented it would benefit many sectors including the tourism sector.
“If we think of culture, it helps to promote visitors in Cambodia and sometimes the tourists see and learn more about our country. It can be used to attract people all around the world and learn about our traditional clothes, opera, contemporary, painting, and more,” said Phina.
One of the participants, Soy Sophorn, a social worker at Garden of Hope in Cambodia, said that people should know about their cultural history, and help the artists to inform other people.
“When I saw the topic, I was immediately interested to join, as I think this topic should be joined by all artists so that they can discuss their problems together. If more people came, they could learn more from about the cultural policy of the ministry and spread the information to others,” said Sophorn.