Celebrating His Majesty’s birthday
One of the most important dates in Brunei’s calendar, the birthday celebration of His Majesty is also one of the major events in the country. I always look forward to this date, for different reasons – as I grow up.
When I was small, I would looked up in awe to the helium-filled balloons, lollipops, keropok (food crackers) and all those noisy, shiny and brightly-coloured-lit toys and gadgets that may have cost my parents a fortune. Strange enough for a girl, I used to love Ultraman ^^.
When I was a teenager, the many stalls being erected especially for the celebrations were my bestest friend. Nope, not the food stalls but the clotheswear sections. Bangles,bracelets, anklets, fancy t-shirts with slogans like, ‘I am cool’ were really cool and the rage during my time. Now I see ‘Short-term girlfriend’… Then there were those selling pumps, cowboy boots and fancy, feathery, really girly slippers, even bunny slippers. I love shoes.
As I grow to adulthood, I have always enjoyed the food being offered, until now. They are really cheap too. Different stall have different taste of satay, soto & nasi ayam. Now we have ayam penyet. Not forgetting all those preserved fruits like jaruk lobak and kedundong. For some, celebrations like this spell sotong tutuk or smoked squid. *drooling*
Then there is the stage shows with budding artists who look like they were just being pluck from all corners of the country. Students and youth organisations would perform anything from the traditional dance to hip-hop, singers belting local melodies to Justin Beiber’s songs, am sure. Rock bands, Indie bands, Pop, Ballad and even dangdut. Next year I am confident the stage shows will be toned down. Watch this space!
Also, as I grow wiser (ehem), I never miss the Majlis Ilmu or the Knowledge Convention which is coming to its sixth year now. Majlis Ilmu is one of the major events of the birthday celebration where a gathering and exhibition of scholars, academicians and experts in a chosen theme meet up every year (except last year, there was no Majlis Ilmu).
This year it will be held as usual at the ICC in Berakas, from the 26th July until 1st August with the theme on Melayu or Malay. I cant wait! The public exhibition will be held for a week starting from the 26th July. Among the highlights that I gather is the latest archeological finding on the oldest Malay human. Sofea Jane’s movie Perempuan Melayu Terakhir (the last Malay lass) comes to my mind…
More info on the events (in Malay) here.
One thing that I enjoy the most ever since I was small is the firework display. I love firework. I look forward to the display again this time of the year. It is the birthday tradition to the Bruneians.
For an up-to date of the events listing, check out from the official birthday celebrations website on major events (and other district-level events as well).
Enjoy the celebrations (and dont forget to bring along your umbrella!)