Final full-dress rehearsal for Sunday get-together
By Rosli Abidin Yahya

Incessant rains delayed the final full-dress rehearsal of Sunday get-together session with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam by more than an hour yesterday afternoon at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

The cloudy sky, however, was not able to dampen the spirits of thousands of participants as they rehearsed their activities to near perfection under the watchful eyes of Pehin Dato Haji Adanan, Minister of Home Affairs cum Chairman of the National Committee for His Majesty's 60th Birthday Celebrations.

A rehearsal welcoming the arrival of His Majesty was greeted by 500 students carrying "bunga dian" and "bunga manggar" lining up at the entrance of the Taman.

This was followed by the declaration of undivided loyalty to the caring monarch with three shouts of Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik by penghulus and village heads in the Brunei-Muara District led by Haji Lutfi Hj Abd Halim, the Penghulu of Mukim Kianggeh.

Dato Hj Mohd Yussop bin Bakar, Brunei-Muara District Officer, rehearsed his speech.

A mock tug-of-war contest was rehearsed before 1,200 students in colourful attire took the centre stage to perform field activities comprising silat movements, the recitals of syair and poems, dance routines of Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik, Adai-Adai, Aduk-Aduk and Kayum Oh Ya Kayum.

The field performance ended with the dance routine of Salendang Kipas accompanied by the hitting of Chinese drums and the belting out of the song Rahmat by the choir group.

Entitled "Cultural Arts Show", the performances by the students of primary and secondary schools in the Brunei-Muara District are a combination of various elements of traditional and contemporary dance routines, music, silat, choir and traditional drumming.

Themed "Menyulam Kasih, Menjunjung Duli", the 1,200 participants depict the daily activities of three major communities in the Sultanate - the Water Villagers, the Land Dwellers and the Chinese.

This Sunday, the daily activities of the three major communities here will be manifested and choreographed in a field performance to show their solidarity, unity and commitment towards nation building.

The traditional dance Adai-Adai mirrors the happiness of returning fishermen with a huge catch. The customary routine of Aduk-Aduk portrays the contentment and high spirit of paddy farmers after a bountiful annual harvest.

The hitting of the Chinese gongs and drums depicts the way the Chinese community celebrate their happiness.

The prosperity of the nation is indeed being manifested in colourful and synchronised dance routines showing opulence and cooperation of the various communities that make up the population of Brunei Darussalam.

The Bulletin was told that an estimated 50,000 people from Brunei-Muara District will be present during the Sunday Get-Together session including civil servants who wanted to express their gratitude for the recent pay rise announced by His Majesty last July 15.

They will be waiting for His Majesty who is expected to visit the 38 camps being erected at the Taman comprising shelters for 17 mukims and other organisations. - Borneo Bulletin (21st July 2006)