Bruneian Cultural Festival ends

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds


THE five-day Cultural Festival ended yesterday with performances on traditional cultural practices that reflect the values of local ethnic groups in Brunei Darussalam.

The festival, which began on April 14, seeks to raise awareness on the importance preserving the country’s culture.

The messages highlighted that the practices dating back to the old times should not be lost in time and must be adapted by the new generation.

As an example, a play titled “Bitten by a Rat” presented by villagers of Kg Tamoi Ujung, who represented the Brunei Malay Ethnic Group, showed a girl who helped her mother do household chores. Exhausted, the girl, who was dirty, fell asleep and was bitten by a rat in the foot. In the ceremony, which included a prayer, the girl was being weighed by using a traditional scale comprising wood, cloths and various products to get rid of bad luck. She was placed inside the cloth hanging in one side of the scale, while the products were placed in the other side. At the end of the ceremony, the products were given to the people who attended the event.

Penghulu Mukim Tamoi Pengarah Hj Mokti Hj Salleh, who was one of the two panel speakers, said that the ceremony is not being practiced nowadays. Pengarah Hj Mokti said that such ceremony took place only in the past as the religious practices then were not strong and not many people were well-educated.

Another panel speaker, former head of The Brunei Arts and Handicraft Centre Hj Juned Hj Ramli, said that the ceremony actually showed the values of the Brunei Malay ethnic group living in Kampong Ayer, such as strong family bond, lending hands to the community, and finding solutions through consensus.

“These values must be maintained,” said Hj Juned.

Tutong District Officer Wardi Hj Mohammad Ali, who was the special guest in the morning session, said the story highlighted three important lessons, such as maintaining cleanliness, sharing and helping.

In the afternoon, a performance and talk on how the Murut ethnic group build the longhouses in the past was also presented. Representing the Murut indigenous group were Labau Murang and Udan Aluk.

Present as the guest of honour during the closing ceremony was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin.

The festival was organised in collaboration with the Museums Department, Brunei History Centre and the Language and Literature Bureau.

The Brunei Times