This morning as was yesterday morning, I will be at the Padang for the National Day rehearsal. Yesterday morning was the first time I was able to come and I got to see what everyone will be seeing on Saturday. It was a full dress rehearsal but our team was not yet wearing our full suit. I was told that mine is still making its way from a factory in KB plus the fact that the Admin Head Honcho wanted to keep the track suit design a surprise until the actual day (I can tell you it’s a dark blue Nike look alike with a red logo by our sponsors *thanks guys* in front and our agency’s name at the back).
I am not doing much for this National Day other than do a 10 minute walk from in front of Shop No.5 at Jalan Sultan towards the end of the track in front of the dais, leading the ministry’s 115 member team into the Padang. The last time I was really involved in a National Day celebration was in 1990 when the Ministry I was in then was organizing it. In the first 10 years or so of the National Day celebrations after independence, ministries took turn to host it, and despite being inexperienced, always trying to outdo the previous ones. It was a six month affair more or less and preparations were much more complicated as in those days, celebrations were at the National Stadium.
Nowadays the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports are the permanent organizers and they are so much experienced by now plus the shows nowadays get less complicated. The performances on the Padang yesterday for instance did not show much movements compared to some years I can think of when performers had to perform dances and make complicated patterns on the Padang.
But this year’s, despite the less movements, will be as equally enthralling as other years’ what with the very colourful paraphernalia and other ensemble that the performers will be using. With the patriotic songs in the background and the many Brunei flags being waved, standing up listening to everyone and singing with them our national anthem, the National Day celebrations is the day, I get to feel really belonging to Brunei and that Brunei Darussalam is our country.
So, come Saturday, come to the Padang. More than 15,000 people with about 3,000 school children had been practicing for the last month or so, so that we can celebrate our national day. Our 23rd of being an independent modern nation again.