Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik. Dirgahayu Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik. Happy 64th Birthday to His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
What is the right way of greeting His Majesty on his birthday? I wrote about this 3 years ago and I thought I will repost it here:-
I was watching the news on RTB last night, partly because where my wife and I sat during the banquet for uniformed personnel the night before, we were smack in the direction of the camera and there was no way the camera could have missed us so I just wanted to see what I looked like on tv (not very pretty, I tell you) but partly because what I really wanted to watch was the segment where RTB news focused on a number of Bruneians giving greetings to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on the occassion of His Majesty's birthday.
All the viewers that were shown on tv all wanted to wish His Majesty's a Happy Birthday. But a lot of them sounded as if they did not know what the right greeting is or are afraid of making mistakes. So you hear a number of versions and you get confused as to what is the right way of greeting His Majesty on his birthday.
So, what is the right way of greeting? I have asked that question myself and unfortunately I don't have the right answer, myself. I am sure if I was to ask the Adat Istiadat people I would get the right answer but since this blog is written in the middle of the night, I am not sure any Adat Istiadat people would welcome my midnight calls. Besides, I am sure readers would provide me the right answers.
The English greeting seemed to be the easiest "Happy Birthday Your Majesty". This phrase translated into the proper Royal Malay phrase become "Selamat Hari Puja Usia Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik" or "Selamat Hari Keputeraan Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik" or the slightly longer "Selamat Menyambut Hari Keputeraan Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik". Some advertisement took on the slightly third party phrasing such as "Greetings to His Majesty on the Occassion of Your Majesty's 60th Birthday" which to me is slightly off. Why greetings? But despite the slight off nature, that seemed to be used widely too.
Another long Malay phrase is "Hamba Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik menyembahkan Sembah Kesyukuran sempena Hari Puja Usia Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik" which very loosely translated to be "I feel so happy during Your Majesty's Birthday". The English translation does not seemed to be so appropriate but the Malay phrasing sounded grand. Of course with an extra $200 each for the civil servants this phrasing seemed to me the most appropriate and most apt to be said. Imagine. Someone else's birthday but you get the present. It should be the other way round, shouldn't it?
Another one which is very widely used is "Dirgahayu Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik". "Dirgahayu" is an interesting word. I know the 1,000+ readers of this blog together with the hundreds of thousands of Bruneians driving past by huge banners that say "Dirgahayu Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik" are taking the banners for granted. But here is the interesting bit - how many actually would know what the word "Dirgahayu" means? Do you know? I know because I checked.
"Dirgahayu" according to the Kamus Nusantara, my trusted 3,092 page dictionary with tiny little fonts that hurt my eyes, defined it as "(mudah-mudahan) lanjut usia; berumur panjang (biasanya ditujukan kpd raja, negara, atau organisasi yg sedang memperingati hari jadinya)". So, "Dirgahayu" just means "long live", thus the English equivalent of "Long Live the King". The next time you passed by one of those banners you can tell everyone in the car what that means.
So, if ever an RTB newscamera was to approach you and ask you to wish His Majesty a Happy Birthday, you know what to do. Dirgahayu Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik!