Istiadat Bersiram at Istana
By M K Anwar & Lyna Mohammad

Thanksgiving prayers for the "Istiadat Bersiram" of Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar on the occasion of the birth of His Majesty's son, His Royal Highness Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Wakeel, were held yesterday afternoon at the Istana Nurul Iman's Surau.

The event was headed by YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz, Chief of Adat Istiadat.

Amongst those present were Pengiran Pengiran Cheterias, Cabinet Ministers, Privy Council members, Deputy Ministers, Pengiran-Pengiran Peranakan, Pehin-Pehin Manteri and Manteri-Manteri Hulubalang, LEGCO members, Permanent Secretaries, former RBAF Commander and RBPF Commissioner, Board Members of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation and Deputy Permanent Secretaries.

Meanwhile, spouses of the Pengiran-Pengiran Cheterias, Cabinet Ministers, Privy Council Members, Deputy Ministers, Pengiran-Pengiran Peranakan, Pehin-Pehin Manteri and Manteri-Manteri Hulubalang, LEGCO Members, Permanent Secretaries, and other female guests were seated at the Balai Indera Kencana of the Istana Nurul Iman.

After receiving the consent from His Majesty the sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the ceremony to start, the royal ceremony then initiated with the mass Berzikir carried out by Pehin-Pehin Khatib as well as Begawan-Begawan Pehin Khatib and Mudim-Mudim.

Halfway through the Berzikir ceremony, 21 shots of the cannon were fired to mark the "Majlis Doa Selamat serta Kesyukuran Istiadat Bersiram" ceremony. Yesterday's royal ceremony concluded with a doa selamat read by the State Mufti, Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz.

HRH Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Wakeel was born on Thursday, 4th Jamadilawal, 1427 Hijrah corresponding to June 1, 2006.

The Istiadat Bersiram is a ceremony held on special occasions such as weddings, and coronation.

To mark the occasion, a 'doa selamat' (thanksgiving) is held in the balai or lapau. This ceremony is equivalent to the istiadat 'mandi berlawat' among the Brunei public.

Istiadat Bersiram is carried out in another part of the palace while the religious function is done in the balai, royal Surau (prayer hall) or lapau where invited personnel and invited guests recite the doa, Dikir Syarafil Anam and the likes.

As a gesture of appreciation, guests are given a 'Campur' and a 'Pacak Talur' to signify their attendance at the 'Istiadat Bersiram' ceremony.

It is an event to honour, announce and welcome the newest member of the royal family. - Borneo Bulletin (11th July 2006)