Thanksgiving ceremony for new prince
By Lyna Mohamad & Azrol Azmi
Photo: Info Dept

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah yesterday afternoon consented to hold the "Majlis Doa Selamat serta Kesyukuran Istiadat Bersiram" on the occasion of the birth of Their Highnesses first child, His Royal Highness Pengiran Muda Abdul Muntaqim.

Held at the Istana Nurul Iman's Surau, the event was headed by YAM Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Dato Laila Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Rahim.

The ceremony began with a mass recital Al-Fatihah followed with the recital of Dikir "Assalai" headed by Pehin Khatib Hj Mat Jaya Hj Ibrahim.

It continued with several Dikir recitals including "Dikir Rawi" led by Pehin-Pehin Khatibs and Mudim-Mudims and ended with the Dikir Marhaban.

Towards the end of the ceremony, 19 shots of the cannon were fired to mark the event. Yesterday's royal ceremony concluded with a doa selamat read by the State Mufti.

Amongst those present at the ceremony 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 and senior government officers.

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.

HRH Pengiran Muda Abdul Muntaqim was born on Saturday, 27 Safar, 1427 Hijrah corresponding to March 17, 2007 at 3.50pm at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital.

The Istiadat Bersiram is a ceremony that is held on special occasions such as weddings and coronation. It is also held to mark the end of confinement for a lady member of the aristocrats.

In the ceremony, the lady member of the aristocrat is showered with a variety of fragrant water with several royal regalias and Pahawai (royal attendance) in tow.

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.

Cheterias, Pengiran Peranakan and other guests are invited in accordance to the position of the lady aristocrat who is celebrated and in some occasions, invited female guests sit in accordance to their positions also.

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

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

The ceremony is also a way to honour, announce and welcome the baby who is the newest member of the royal family. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd May 2007)