By James Kon
The making of Zongzi or Chinese glutinous rice, traditional Chinese lantern, the demonstration of Chinese calligraphy, the cooking of 'Ang Ku Kueh' or Chinese red tortoise cakes were among the interesting local Chinese tradition and culture that were witnessed by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha at the Chinese New Year get-together ceremony at the ICC yesterday.
Also in attendance to usher in the Year of the Rabbit with hundreds of members from the Chinese community at the ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, His Royal Highness Prince Sufri Bolkiah, YAM Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah Binti Dato Hj Nasir, His Royal Highness Prince Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik.
Upon arrival, Their Majesties and other members of the royal family were welcomed by Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin, Pehin Bendahari Cina Dato Paduka Onn Siew Siong, both co-advisors of the organising committee members of ceremony, Mr Ang Swee Chuan, chairperson of the organising committee, as well as other prominent Chinese community figures.
Following a group picture with the organising committee, Their Majesties and royal family members heard a pledge of loyalty to His Majesty and the country by a group led by Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin. His Majesty later consented to receive a pesembah..
Colourful and entertaining performances followed from Chung Hwa Middle School, BSB, Chung Hua Middle School, KB, Wushu Federation of Brunei Darussalam and local Singer Chong Wen Wen of Kuala Belait.
His Majesty and Her Majesty later toured an exhibition that showcased the Chinese culture participated by Chung Hwa Middle School, Hainan Association, Hua Ho Cultural Fund, Chinese Chamber of Commerce BSB, Brunei China Friendship Association and Wushu Federation, as well as Sing Guan Keropok Udang.
Their Majesties and members of the royal family also mingled with members of the Chinese community during the tour.
At the end of the ceremony Mr Ang Swee Chuan, in an interview, said, "I am delighted with the smooth proceedings of the ceremony.
"There is no other country like Brunei where His Majesty comes for a Chinese New Year get-together celebration. We feel proud that Their Majesties and members of the royal family attended the Chinese New Year get-together event," he added.
"From the ceremony, we could see that the Chinese community was delighted to celebrate the Chinese New Year with His Majesty. I have always said that the Chinese community in Brunei are the luckiest and we should feel proud that His Majesty also came and celebrated the Chinese New Year with the local Chinese community."
- Borneo Bulletin
(9th February 2011)