Back to roots on Cultural Night
By Aemy Azlena

A Cultural Night was held on Wednesday at the Jubilee Park by mukims and villages of the Brunei-Muara District, in conjunction with the Royal Wedding celebration.

Organised by the Brunei-Muara District Office, the event featured a variety of performances by local artists and performers, ranging from traditional dancing, singing, Syair (poetry reading) and even a silat demonstration.

Attending as guest of honour was Dato Paduka Awg Hj Md Yussop bin Bakar, the Brunei-Muara District Officer.

Also attending were various Penghulus of mukims and village heads from the Brunei-Muara District.

The performers' friends and families were also there to give moral support and encouragement.

Despite drizzle, the audience was entertained by the performers onstage and showed their appreciation with loud applause.

The show opened with a rendition of "Selamat Bersanding" accompanied by the beats of the hadrah, and was followed by four traditional songs before representatives from various mukims and villages showcased their performances.

A few of the performances included a Tausyeh performance by Mukim Berakas 'A', the Adok-adok dance by Mukim Pengkalan Batu, a Syair (poetry reading) performance by Mukim Berakas 'A', a Zapin dance by Mukim Mentiri, a singing performance by Mukim Lumapas, a Bruneian folk dance known as "Joget Baju Putih" by Mukim Tamoi, a dance by Mukim Serasa, a Bermukun performance by Mukim Berakas 'B' and Mukim Sengkurong and a Gambus performance by Kumpulan Gambus Getaran Irama Warisan Kampung Mukim Berakas 'A' and Kampung Burong Pingai Ayer.

An enthralling Ronggeng performance from Mukim Serasa rounded off the line-up of shows.

Hj Nayan Hj Apong, who was one of the performers in the Adok-adok dance from Mukim Pengkalan Batu, said, "The other performers were good dancers, and they pulled off their steps beautifully".

Nurul Aimi bte Hussin of Kumpulan Zapin from Mukim Mentiri, told the Bulletin about how it felt to be on stage: "I felt great after the performance. I was actually a bit nervous when I started onstage but after a while, I felt calmer and it was exciting to have the audience's attention on our group."

She and her relatives thrived under the tutelage of their teacher Jamaludin and learnt the dance routine in two months, despite not knowing the steps beforehand.

"The cultural performances aimed to remind Bruneians of their cultural heritage," said Ajmin Hj Meludin, an administrative officer of Brunei Muara District and one of the organisers of the show. "We also wanted those who attended to have a good time, and hopefully, we achieved that too."

According to Ajmin, that night was the last of four performances from all four districts, which started in early June and was the closing show for the entire run of performances.

He added that rehearsals began as early as May before the first event was performed.

Dr Muhamud from UBD brought his family to watch the show, and called it "excellent".

"It was quite traditional, and I liked the colourful headdresses and the sparkling costumes the performers had on," he said with a smile.

If Dr Muhamud's opinion was any indication of the audience's feelings that night, then the show was definitely a huge success. - Borneo Bulletin (15th June 2007)