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Upholding MIB Through Stage Shows in Brunei
Performers from Putra Seni doing a drama called Padi Sarampun in front of the Royal Regalia Building in conjunction with the Royal Wedding of 2012. BT file
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, January 22, 2015
SINCE the dawn of Bruneian indepence a small company of actors has been bringing the magic of theatre to the masses Brunei. Putra Seni (literally Princes of Art) was founded by five artistically minded students from Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College in 1983.
The company began to gain wider recognition in September 1983 when it participated in a stage drama competition to commemorate the country’s independence. Post independence, it was officially registered as an organisation on December 5, 1984.
Its founding fathers were Hj Muslym Hj Mohd Yusof, Belawan Padan (now Hj Mohd Hazwan Abdullah), Julaihi Abdullah, Pg Hj Jamaluddin Pg Hj Md Yusof and Mahali Hj Abd Rahman.
The group, whose members come from a variety of professions, stage plays, dramas, musicals, declamations and poetry recitations.
Since its founding, Putra Seni has been involved in numerous cultural and artistic workshops, festivals, forums and seminars at local and national level.
Much of the theatre company’s work involves the promotion of Islamic Bruneian culture through performances of folk tales such as Pak Saloi and Mutiara.
Putra Seni’s president, Zefri Arif, said the group has had between 200 and 300 members but that it now has an active membership of 40 to 50 active (mostly young) artists.
Although the group regularly holds dance performances and declamations of poetry, its core business is staging dramas.
Aside from regular theatre workshops, the group take an active role in organising mini-theatre performances of traditional tales and religous plays that embrace both humour and drama under its project called “Rumah Pusaka”.
The performances can be viewed at events such as book fairs and carnivals.
Under the presidency of Zefri Arif, one of the Putra Seni’s early members, the group is busy promoting cultural arts in the country among young people.
Among the honours it has received are the Youth Association Award and the TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organisations) Asean Award, which it received last year.
DAYANGKU RAABI'ATUL ADAWIYYAH
PENGIRAN HAJI BOLKIAH
Yang Mulia Dayangku Raabi'atul `Adawiyyah binti Pengiran Haji Bolkiah was born on the 27th October 1992. She is the second child of Pengiran Haji Bolkiah bin Pengiran Haji Jaluddin bin Pengiran Haji Tajuddin with Pengiran Hajah Noor'aismah binti Pengiran Haji Ismail bin Pengiran Haji Tengah. Her eldest brother, Awangku Abd. 'Aziz Hafizuddin bin Pengiran Haji Bolkiah, works at the Royal Brunei Airlines. Her other siblings are Awangku Mohd Ainul Yaqien; Dayangku Noor Batuul 'Afiqah; Dayangku Izzatul `Afifah; Dayangku Duratul Majeedah; Dayangku Nur Hidayatul Maheerah; Awangku Mohd Zainul ‘Ariffin; Awangku Mohd Irfan Hakeem; and Awangku Mohd Izzul Yamin @ Abdul Razeeq. (Note: Direct descendants of the Brunei Sultans carry the hereditary title of Pengiran. However as children and young adults, they are normally styled Awangku (for male) and Dayangku (for female) until they marry, when the title converts to Peng…
There seemed to be a rush of entries yesterday about the development in Brunei. For today I thought I will look at the Chinese Temple. I wrote about the old Chinese Temple a couple of years back and received interesting comments. The original Chinese Temple is not at its location in front of Sungai Kianggeh. It was originally at the wharf. During the early 1950s, you can still find the old temple in between the Customs Building and the old Government Rest House (that Rest House became the Pelita Brunei office in the 1970s and 1980s and now completely demolished).
This is what it looked like around 1920s:
According to a research paper I came across, this first Chinese Temple was built in 1918. As the first World War raged on in Europe, apparently times were good for the Chinese towkays in Brunei. The Chinese businessmen were among the first to heed the British Resident's call to set up shops away from the Kampong Ayer. The original town centre on Kampong Ayer then was Kampong Bakut C…
I remembered when I was in Darjah 4 way back in the very early 1970s, one of the fahaman article or comprehension I was reading had a story about a Brunei man during the aftermath of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Apparently he had been a student there and the bomb fell over the city. Luckily he survived the bombing. After that I searched high and low for the book but to no avail. At that time I didn't know who the author was let alone from which book was the excerpt taken from.
About three years ago, I was in Mega Book Store. That's a free plug for the bookshop. I found this book written by Pengiran Yusof. I am 46 years old now and of course by now I know who he is and that he was the one who was in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped by the Americans. I glanced through the book and lo and behold, that narrative was in the book. I quickly bought it, it was only $9.60.
I was rather surprised to discover that the book was only published in 2002 by Dewan Bahasa Malaysia. So I…