Hari Raya at Istana Nurul Iman for VVIPs
Danial Norjidi

THE first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri was celebrated in grand fashion at the Istana Nurul Iman on Friday as His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha hosted a lavish Hari Raya gathering for VVIP guests.

The monarch made his way into the Reception Hall smiling, donning a blue traditional Baju Cara Melayu, joined by the royal entourage, happily greeting each and every one of the male guests personally.

His Majesty arrived at the event accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha greeted each of the female guests, along with Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, YAM Pengiran Bini Hajah Faizah, YAM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Hajah Norhayati, His Majesty’s daughters and other members of the royal family.

The atmosphere in the reception hall was one of festive cheer, courtesy of not only the décor that lined the hall, but the smiles on the faces of the guests, all eagerly awaiting their chance to wish Their Majesties and the royal family a ‘Selamat Hari Raya’.

Over the course of the reception, guests, dressed in formal and traditional attire of their respective countries, shared light conversations, mingled and even got to take photos with members of the royal family.

Among the guests yesterday were state dignitaries, cabinet ministers, foreign diplomats and senior government officials, all of whom, after the proceedings concluded, were treated to a feast of exquisite and sumptuous food that was served.

The array of dishes on offer was spectacular in itself with both foreign and local delicacies, ranging from lobster, oysters, sushi, lamb and satay all the way to an assortment of sweets and deserts, all of which was designed to cater to the guests in attendance.

The menu was prepared by the palace’s chefs, who stood at various stations along the flanks of the hall, where the food was served.

The Hari Raya gathering at the palace is an event that takes place annually, which is always highly anticipated as each year Istana Nurul Iman opens its doors to all the people in the country. - Borneo Bulletin (11 August 2013)