Project helps instil love of culture

National 2 minutes, 0 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

PARTICIPANTS of the 41st Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) are helping to strengthen the cultural identity of youth in the country through their Youth Cultural Movement (YCM) project.

The YCM is aimed at educating young children about the sultanate’s vast cultural heritage, according to a member of the 41st SSEAYP, Nor Hidayati Hj Lakim.

Nor Hidayati said that since their SSEAYP experience ended in 2014, the group has noticed more of today’s children becoming tech-savvy from a very young age.

She said this poses an issue as young Bruneians are often more exposed to foreign culture than their own, which prompted the group to establish the YCM, a project with the main objective of spreading knowledge on Brunei’s cultural heritage, including traditional dances, music, games and attire.

Nor Hidayati was speaking on the sidelines of a mass cycling event that was held in the capital yesterday to commemorate the anniversary of the renaming of the capital to Bandar Seri Begawan as well as National Youth Day.

During the event, the group, which comprises 28 youths, performed the aduk-aduk dance at the Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) which prompted some members of the public to join in and learn the moves.

“Under this project, besides performing traditional dances at events such as the one today, we also conduct visits to schools across the sultanate to teach young children traditional dances or games like congkak,” she said.

“There are still some Bruneian children who are unaware of the many aspects of our cultural her itage, which makes our work very important (because) we wouldn’t want our heritage to be swept away by the tides of time.”

Nor Hidayati said the YCM project doesn’t only benefit the young as senior citizens have also responded positively, especially when they perform traditional dances and music in public spaces.

“Senior citizens love (the YCM project) not only because it educates young children on their cultural identity (but) it also reminds the senior citizens of their (own cultural identity) because we often get comments on how the songs and dances we perform remind them of their childhood,” she said.

She said the group is working with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to strengthen, diversify and improve the activities under their project with a target of extending their reach to more schools across Brunei.

The Brunei Times