By Zaim Zaini and Sonia K.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during yesterday's get-together at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien was presented a variety of exquisite 'pesambah' or gifts from people of the 17 mukims in Brunei-Muara District for the monarch's 60th birthday.
One of the eye-catching pesambah was from residents of Mukim Pengkalan Batu who presented a more than a century-old 'Languai' made out of bronze. The Languai, a very rare handicraft - in Brunei there are said to be only two or three left - was used in the old days to store 'sirih' or money.
The Head Village Hj Jahar bin Hj Tinggal said that the handicraft was chosen as a pesambah mainly because it is a very rare item and is different from the previous pesambah.
Another unique pesambah was from residents of Mukim Kilanas. Their gift is a plaque, on which is inscribed 18-carat gold special birthday greeting for His Majesty. The decision to choose this as a pesambah was made in April, according to Hj Matassan bin Hj Aji, a mukim committee member.
A locally-made walking cane which took ten days to complete is the pesambah from Mukim Sengkurong. The walking cane has the number 60 engraved on it, signifying His Majesty's 60th birthday. According to Awang bin Mansur from Kg Lugu, the walking cane was made of various types of wood.
Mukim Peramu, which has more than 1,000 residents, gave His Majesty a gleaming miniature 'Padian' boat made out of silver.
According to Awang Ahmad Hj Timbang, the 'padian' boat reflects the life of residents in Kampong Ayer where it once roamed from one house to another selling a variety of household goods.
Other organisations have come up with their own special pesambah to be presented during the very special day.
- Borneo Bulletin
(24th July 2006)