Ethnographic study vital in preserving Brunei’s dying traditions

National 1 minute, 19 seconds


AN ETHNOGRAPHIC study of Brunei is necessary in documenting the history and cultural practices in Brunei, especially the dying traditions of Brunei minority groups, a Museums Department official said.

In an email interview with The Brunei Times, Dr Pudarno Binchin, curator of Ethnography of Brunei Museums Department, said that studies of the nation and its ethnic groups are crucial in ensuring the knowledge and history of Brunei and its people are properly documented and disseminated to the public.

Dr Pudarno, who is also the acting director of Museums Department, said documentation is vital as it is one of the ways for Bruneians to “appreciate their past” and have an understanding of their own cultural heritage.

Being involved in the field of research in Brunei especially on Dusun ethnic group for a long time, Dr Pudarno is currently studying Hindu-Buddhist influences on Dusun culture.

“This (study) is mainly accessed by looking at several rituals and ceremonies that were practised by Dusun (communities) in the past,” he said.

When asked regarding the roles of the public in sustaining Brunei’s heritage and traditions, he said that it is up to the practitioners themselves to adapt to the changes brought on by globalisation.

“Tradition may continue to live on or be modified accordingly by practitioners according to their surrounding circumstances,” said Dr Pudarno.

He added: “We, as researchers can only provide and present our data for references.”

He went on to say that the need for economic diversification by 2035 may pave the way for transformations of Brunei’s traditional practices to “new cultural dynamic”.

The Brunei Times