A day Tutong residents will always cherish
By Huraizah Ahmad & Aemy Azlena

Thousands of people and various ethic communities in Tutong showed their devotion to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the monarch's second "Bersama Rakyat" (get-together) with the people yesterday.

The colourful celebration, which was held in conjunction with His Majesty's 61st birthday, featured well-choreographed performances by the communities of Tutong at the Seri Kenangan Community Hall Field.

The field performances showcased the uniqueness of each ethnic group in the district.

Aside from students from secondary schools in Tutong, a group from PDS School in Brunei-Muara District was specially invited to perform their Chinese drum performances at the event.

According to Archie, a teacher from PDS, all 34 students from the school's Chinese Cultural Club have been working hard for the past two weeks to prepare for the big show. The energetic performance featuring choreographed drumbeats that echoed throughout the arena, and also played a part in indicating all four different segments of the field performances yesterday.

Md Yussof bin Bamban of Mukim Rambai, 58, was among the elderly in Tutong who jumped at the chance to greet the caring monarch yesterday. Md Yussof also convinced his 67-year-old cousin, who had never been to any of the "Bersama Rakyat" event until yesterday, to witness the grand event.

Hjh Saimah of Kg Sungai Kelugos, on the other hand, brought a number of her extended family members and one of her grandchildren. "I've attended these get-together events with my family a number of times," she said, adding that she herself has been involved in a number of celebrations over the years.

Hjh Nurifezatul Taqina of Kg Tanjong Maya was one of the Gulintangan performers specially invited by the District Office for the birthday celebration. She explained that the members of the newly formed group were more than happy to attend yesterday's celebration as they could perform in front of His Majesty.

Most of the performers have been rehearsing for the past two to three months for the get-together celebration in Tutong.

For Norhamdilini bin Abd Hadi and his nine other friends who volunteered to be part of the Brunei ethnic group showcase yesterday, they were more than happy to be part of yesterday's grand celebration in Tutong.

Some 120 students of Sayyidina Osman Secondary School also took part in the ceremony yesterday, according to Hj Hasnan bin Hj Shahbudin, one of the school's teachers who spoke to the Bulletin yesterday.

"We feel our students are excellent and marvellous performers. This is thanks to good teamwork, our school principle, the parents and the students themselves," he said. Award winning photographer Don Gurewitz and a number of shutterbugs from local photography clubs were also spotted at the event. - Borneo Bulletin (20th July 2007)