The Tutong District Civic Centre Complex field was beautifully lit in rich colours and an atmosphere full of patriotism at the recent meet and greet for His Majesty the Sultan’s 76th birthday celebration.
Tutong was the final district for the royal get-together gathering thousands, excited to see the beloved monarch and members of the royal family in person.
His Majesty was 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 ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.
People from all walks of life came together in a show of their love and loyalty for His Majesty, while also showcasing their strong unity, solidarity and harmony through a variety of performances.
The royal celebration commenced with the performance themed “Raja untuk Rakyat dan Rakyat untuk Raja” or Monarch for the People and People for the Monarch, which was interpreted through a combination of traditional and modern dances and melody by 276 performers.
One youth performer Viviy Shahirah Girrah, a student from Tanjong Maya Secondary School shared her feelings of excitement when performing for the first time in front of His Majesty.
“I was happy and nervous at the same time while performing at the event. However, If I was given another chance, I would participate again,” she said.
For local singer Suzan Maidin who performed three songs “Syukuran Al-Hidayah”, “Raja Kesayangan Rakyat” and “Raya Berdaulat Disyukuri Rakyat” during the royal celebration, being on stage is second nature to her.
“This year would be my fifth time participating as a singer for this special event. Alhamdulillah, after more than two months of training, we are grateful that all the performances today went smoothly,” she shared.
Besides showcasing traditional and cultural performances, members of the public also had the opportunity to personally greet His Majesty and present the monarch with pesambah (birthday gift).
Moreover, all dressed in traditional Dusun clothing, members of the Puak Sang Jati Dusun (PSJD) association had the opportunity to wish His Majesty a happy birthday in their native language “Selamat Grigom yang ke Turu Pod Enom Tahun” which translates to “Happy 76th birthday”.
A member of PSJD association Hj Mohammad Syafien Yandol expressed his sincere gratitude for having the chance to participate in this year’s royal celebration.
“If you look at this year’s celebration, the number of visitors has slightly decreased. However, this year the importance of safety measures has also been applied, such as complying with the SOP to ensure the safety of all visitors who attended the ceremony,” he said.
During the get-together, the community also displayed a beautiful portrait of the late Benson Tunggong, referred to by many as Cikgu Benson, who is a legend among the Dusun community and a beloved family member.
Sharing the same sentiment, one of the members of 7 Rumpun Keluarga Nayan (7RKN) from Mukim Lamunin , Hj Mohd Paizal Hj Piluk expressed his excitement for them to be able to perform in person in front of His Majesty during the get-together in Tutong.
From the rhythmic pattern of the gong to the melodic strings of the gambus, keeping the traditional music alive, according to Hj Mohd Paizal, the 7RKN consists of approximately 400 family members whom all have kept the traditional music running for seven generations.
On her part, Assistant Tutong District Scout Commissioner for Training Section Effayane Hj Salam shared that a total of 50 members of the association were involved in the royal celebration in Tutong this year.
She also expressed her love and loyalty to the monarch. “Alhamdulillah, thanks to Allah for another year to be a part of His Majesty’s birthday celebration once again,” she said.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN