Hari Raya Cards

I promised my sister I will talk about Hari Raya cards sometime before the end of Hari Raya. Even though theoretically speaking Hari Raya is the whole of Syawal but by next weekend, it will be practically over. So I thought this is as good a time as any to talk about it.

We received two more Hari Raya cards from members of the Royal Family - this time from His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Her Royal Highness Princesss Sarah. We enjoyed receiving from both Pengiran Muda and Pengiran Anak Sarah as they took the time to personally handwrite the envelopes and sign the cards as well. Each of them will send you a separate one even though it is the same card design. Last year was the first time that they sent out separate cards and it was last year that I discovered that both personally handwrite their cards and envelopes. You can't get any more personal than that.

I was looking through the Hari Raya cards I received this year. So far I have received about 100+. Most are run of the mill cards - either the square one, normally the Memory Lane or the Post Office cards, some the rectangular ones and most with either abstract or Hari Raya motifs or with the photos or pictures of mosques either a Brunei one or some other countries'. A few cards stand out as memorable. The one by the Minister of Communications was a winning art design by a 12 year old girl. The one sent out by the Chartered Bank CEO was handmade by the folks at Pusat Ehsan which I thought was very supportive of the Bank. The Minister of Home Affairs had the photo of the Jalan Sultan Bazaar - a good promo as well.

The Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources was promoting the Golden Birdwing - a beautiful male butterfly from Labi which is protected as an endangered wildlife. The British High Commissioner sent out a card which depicted a caligraphy made by a student in UK. The 2nd Finance Minister sent out a card which showed a painting by a local artist. And finally one of the MFA PS sent out a card which had his own painting as the cover.

My sister wanted me to talk about my Hari Raya card which she designed which I have to admit is probably one of the most unusual design card which is being sent out this year. It's foldable and you can actually stand it up and use it as a deco for your table. You can even put is sideways. The design is interesting and it comes in a bright yellow envelope. I was a little bit worried about sending the card to the Royal Family members but my sister says the effect would be lost if I did not use the yellow envelopes. If anybody out there is interested in the card, e-mail me and I will send one to you. On second thoughts, that would be giving my identity away. Anyway, if you email me, I will forward it to my sister so you can ask her if she can design one for you too. Just for the record, my sister has a BA and an MA all in Arts and Design and one of her work has been bought by the Tate Art Gallery in London. The promo, okay sis? [I had to do this promo to get a discount on my next Raya card design from her ;)]

Talking about Hari Raya cards, I remembered in the 1980s when I was a junior officer at the Ministry of Communications - the PA to the Minister asked me to find out who it is that had sent one of the biggest cards we have seen to the Minister. It was one of those 18 inch x 24 inch card and what was surprising was that the card was meant for a 'kekasih' or a lover complete with love Hari Raya poem. The Minister was wondering who his secret admirer was. Eventually we found that the card was sent by an expatriate engineer who thought it was an honour for him to send such a huge card to the Minister but since he did not speak Malay, he did not realise the implication of the card!


Anonymous said…
Good morning Mr. BR. I guess things will go back to normal this week.

Last bit of your entry was hilarious... huge card with a wrong message. hehehehe...
Anonymous said…
Oh i know your sister, then i think i know who you are too! You know when i first started this blog i kept wondering who you are and my intuition kept projecting to your sister and family (not that i know her well). But pokoknya my intuition is right hehehe, i just wished my intuition would be strong enough to tell me who is my jodoh! hahaha. well nevermind that, I remember your sister would make these fancy cards and sell it at Brunei halls Lobby. Oh just to confirm, maybe i will email you one of these days. i mean you never know they could be 2 person in brunei who had their work exhibited at Tate's and fits in the description you have made about her.

Anyway, about the topic i used to think that these days people dont send hari raya cards anymore as i only received like (counts the hariraya cards on my cubicle wall) 7 hariraya cards and half of them are from our managers and manager's manager. These days i receive more hari raya E-cards. Well i sent hari raya e-cards too...and the best part is when designing them...hehehe. And its like a competition who has the best hari raya e-cards.
Oh well i suppose its the thought that counts...
Your sister has whipped up a very nice Hari Raya card =)
Anonymous said…
Errr.... I thought most people know yuor identity by now? An avid reader to the blog would have figured out who you are... And another give away was the pic of the table setting during the HM's B'day banquet and your name placard was visible!!

Anyway, it's true that less Raya cards are being sent nowadays. Yeah, blame it on the technology. But I am using the technology too to design my own raya cards which I printed off on photograph papers at the shop. They are personal and cheapers! I used a picture which I downloaded from the net and my friends warned me that I might get sued by the photographer! Well, I'll take the risk then!

Hope it's never too late to wish all a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.
Anonymous said…
hey mr anonymous above me, i was the first anonymous commenter above, laaa.....i am not much an observer of the pics being put up...i just read the blog. Plus, when it comes to issues on the who's who in the government sector, i seriously don't know muchand i dont even know what their names are...SUT's or Menteri..aaahh...i really dont know. so maybe to your dictionary i am not an avid reader lah...cos i missed out the important details. but siriusly i think i am an avid reader to this blog. :)
Anonymous said…

Sorry Nat, that comment earlier that I posted earlier was not directed to you, but rather to Mr. BR himself. And I was not referring to anyone in particular when I said an avid reader would have recognised who Mr BR is.

Anyway, Mr. BR, keep up your good work; your blogs are one of the first things I check in the morning.
Anonymous said…
Yes I think its pretty naive to think that people don't know who the identity of this famed blog is. It's a small country and when you're a bureaucrat, it doesnt really take too much to guess/identify the person.

P/s I love your sister's raya card!
Anonymous said…
I don't get it, do i really have to know all the bureaucrats in this small country and if i don't know does that make me naive?
I think that statement is pretty unfair.
nat: not to worry, there is a group of people who knows who br is and think everyone ought to have known as well, which i don't quite agree. brunei is not that small and there are a large number of bureaucrats. i preferred not to be known as it allows me to give out messages rather than be famous because of the position i hold (which is only temporary in this world).

rav3nclaw: not everyone knows as there are a number of new readers to this blogsite especially overseas students, besides only civil servants readers know other bureaucrats. so i guess the message would be not to assume.

all: thanks for visiting the blogsite and i do hope you come for the articles i write and not for the writer.
Anonymous said…
Mr. BR,
I would like to make perhaps the last of the comments for this particular posting.
I work for Brunei Shell and I do know some of the 'government bureaucrats'. Knowing who's who in Brunei should become a common knowledge. Regardless if you're in Brunei or away from Brunei, I think it is important that we know who are leading us Bruneians into the future. I do make it an effort to watch the local news and read the local papers so that I keep track of who's who in Brunei. I do observe it too that the youngsters in Brunei seem to be ignorant of who the bureaucrats are. I think it is a shame that they can tell the names of singers, actors and actresses, but struggle to give the names of the important people in Brunei, let alone giving their full titles.
And yes, I do come here to read your blogs. It's refreshing to see what a caring Bruneian see in his bureaucratic eyes. A commoner like me would not be able to see things the same way as you are, Mr. BR. And I did not know who you were when I stumbled upon your blogs, but over the past months, clues were given here and there. So that was how I know who this blogger was.
Anonymous said…

Check this card out...maybre you can past this link to your Sister.
The card is so cool...lawa banar...

Anonymous said…
Hey Mr. BR,
You're in the paper today!!

Sorry if I outed you!!
yeah, i was on tv too last nite and probably tonite as well ... but for people who don't know or don't have any idea who it is that they have to look out for - it does not really matter. :)
Anonymous said…
Nat: Checked it out. If you can tell me where I can do die cuts in this country it'll be great! Or nearest one in the region...

What else would you expect from the Metropolitan Arts Museum ;-)

Anyway, thanks :-)

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