Get-together ceremony ends with colourful spectacle
Izah Azahari

BEAUTIFUL colours and melodious music filled Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in Bandar Seri Begawan as students from various government and private schools, as well as colleges participated in special performances on the last of the four annual Junjung Ziarah (Get-Together) ceremonies with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the beloved ruler’s 68th birthday.

This year’s Brunei-Muara District’s get-together ceremony was themed “Raja Berdaulat Memacu Negara”, or loosely translated as “Sovereign Monarch Driving the Country Forward”. It was divided into three segments culminating in a grand finale.

Prior to the beginning of the performances, a welcoming speech was delivered by the Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer, Mohammad Sunadi bin Haji Buntar, as the representative of citizens and residents of the Brunei-Muara District, whereby he declared an oath of continued loyalty; improvement of resolutions; to continue to intensify efforts; increase productivity and support the leadership of His Majesty, as well as standing firm in driving the development and progress of the country centred on the concept of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB).

The Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer also praised His Majesty’s recent titah on the new ‘Education Loan Facility’ that mirrors the vision and wise leadership of the monarch in putting education and development of human capital as the core of national development in line with Brunei’s Vision 2035 to have educated, skilled and successful people.

As the speech ended, performances commenced.

Traditional rhythmic music echoed across the field as the first segment of the special performances entitled “Mendukung Kedaulatan Raja: Sedia Berbakti dan Rela Berkorban” began, embellished with a traditional Brunei song favoured by many since more than half-a-century ago entitled “Diang Dangan” followed by traditional dance sequences that opened the performances such as the “Gerak Gemala Sari” that included brilliantly decorated props and the “Gerak Indah Gumalai”, which was made livelier with a Brunei and Kantau Traditional Silat-Cakak Art performance.

Comprising students from Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College, Raja Isteri Girl’s High School, Menglait Secondary School, Raja Isteri Fatimah Primary School, Sayyidina Abu Bakar Secondary School with the cooperation of Brunei Darussalam National Silat Association (PERSIB) and the Creative Team, the first segment truly embodied the portrayal of the beloved nation’s children that are always ready to contribute services, as well as sacrifice for the love and loyalty towards His Majesty and the country.

Through the first segment’s performance, an unspoken message was delivered where youths of the country will together move the country and race towards success through Brunei’s own way following the leadership of the benevolent ruler.

With spectators cheering on, the second segment, “SPN21 Landasan Utama Negara Bergerak Menuju Ke Mercu Jaya”, was performed in a sketch that included three levels: Primary Education, Secondary Education, and Higher Education involving more than 200 students accompanied by a voice-over of each sketch explaining the activities, projects, inventions, research work in the context of teaching and learning in a more conducive and relevant atmosphere with best practices and competitive nature in line with the values of SPN21.

The Primary Education sketch involved a total of 100 students representing Pusar Ulak Primary School, Anggerek Desa Primary School, Amar Pahlawan Primary School, St Andrew’s School, and Mabohai Primary School, depicting various skills learned in Primary Education, whereas another 100 students represented various secondary schools comprising Awang Semaun Secondary School, Hassanal Bolkiah Arabic Boys Seconday School, Sports School, Chung Hwa Middle School and Mechanical Training Centre.

As for the Higher Education level, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) and Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) worked together on a joint exhibit in the form of a quick sketch of research work carried out by their respective universities.

Further enriching the performances was a choir by a total of 68 students from Berakas Secondary School singing ‘Dirgahayu’ written by Dato Paduka Awang Haji Aliddin bin Haji Othman and composed by Haji Abdullah bin Haji Kifli, which followed the theme of the get-together.

As the song reverberated across the field, the integrated movements of the participants and decorated with vibrant coloured props made the performances all the more exciting. The choir music was followed by a special grand finale music coupled with movements that saw the the highlight of the performances in the form of a voice-over “Pantun” ending with three cheers of “Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik”.

Confetti and balloons were released at the end of the performances, which made for a mesmerising spectacle for those at the Taman. It concluded the get-together ceremony held in all four districts. - Borneo Bulletin (25 August 2014)