‘Traditional cuisine way to tourists’ hearts’
BRUNEI should leverage on its traditional cuisine in order to pull in tourists from abroad, according to participants of the Korean youth delegation from the Fifth Bilateral Exchange Programme 2016 who visited the Belait district yesterday.
Kim Myung Tae, who represented the delegation, told The Brunei Times that there is potential for Brunei traditional food to attract visitors from abroad, especially Koreans.
He said this is because after sampling Brunei traditional food showcased to them at the Seria District Office, they found that local dishes suited to their palates.
“So although (the food served to us) did not look familiar, it tasted similar to Korean cuisine, which I find interesting. Brunei and Korea may be different in terms of their culture, but I think there might be something in common between us when it comes to food,” he said.
However, he suggested for a nutritional chart to be put alongside the food being showcased as it will allow foreign visitors to note its contents and may also attract individuals and businesses who may want to invest in the local Brunei food industry or to study them further.
“This is because, I think that most people who visit would think of getting the healthiest option for their meals, and this may include local vegetables,” he noted.
At the Seria District Office, the delegates were given a cooking demonstration, where they also had the chance to try their hands at preparing and tasting traditional Brunei dishes such as ambuyat, penyaram, getas and onde-onde.
The cooking demonstration, according to Belait’s Assistant District Officer Hasmiroon Hj Mohd Taib, was organised by the Mukim Consultative Council of Seria with Pertiwi Belait.
The visit, he said, was intentionally put into their itinerary to give the visiting delegates a chance to take a closer look into how the Brunei traditional foods are made.
This is in line with the aim of the programme which is to learn about each other’s cultures.
“The way I see it, they seem to be enthusiastic when viewing the cooking demonstration. Of course, there is more to the Brunei culture besides its traditional food,” he said.
He added: “I am hoping that these delegates would be able to relay what they learn from Brunei to their friends and families back in their home, and perhaps they could also convince them to come and visit Brunei one day.”
The Korean delegates were the second group of visitors to have viewed the cooking demonstration at the Seria District Office this month, as a Thailand delegation had visited earlier in the month.
Prior to their visit to the Seria District Office, the delegates were brought to some of the landmarks in Belait including the Billionth Barrel Monument in Panaga and also the Menara Cendera Kenangan in Kuala Belait.
The visit was part of a youth exchange programme between Brunei and Korea to cater to the “Arrangement on Cooperation on Youth Matters” agreement signed on February 10, 2010.
The Brunei Times