Join the 23rd National Day Celebrations!

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.


Anonymous said…
I saw you with your colleagues on Jalan Sultan yesterday, without your walking stick heheh
*without* ? Are you sure it was me?

My faithful companion was with me all the time. I wouldn't be able to reach the royal dais without it.

See you Saturday.
Anonymous said…
Hhaha I saw you today good sir. Taking photos of us. Luckily, you go for a 10min walk. We are baking out there under the freaking hot sun! but its enjoyable out there on the field. Its not everyday that you feel like part of something big. I just hope the weather is favorable this comming saturday. I dont want to have a bad case of sunburn again.
Wish us luck!
Anonymous said…
I saw you! Wearing white t-shirt, grey sport trouser...hmmm pakai cap as well...yakah? Correct?

KB's Economist
Anonymous said…
I am still wondering what is the significance of the date 23 February. What I mean is that why are we celebrating 23 Feb as our National Day rather than 1 January (since our 1st independence day was 1 january 1984). Is there a reason behind this? What's the difference between Hari Kemerdekaan and Hari Kebangsaan? Please could you enlighten us (me and a few others who are also asking the same question).
I have to verify this but I have been told by my senior colleagues that even though we officially become independent from the UK on 1st January 1984 (Hari Kemerdekaan) but we did not officially become independent of British Protection (I have to check the three treaties - 1959 treaty with UK or 1888 or 1906 treaty) on 23rd February 1984. If that's true, then we have two interesting dates - 1st January and 23rd February and since so many things happened every 1st January - it's harder to hold a celebration. It's much easier to hold the celebration on 23rd February.
Anonymous said…
Dear Mr BR
Thanks for your reply to my Q. But if that is the case, why didn't we just have our Real Independence Day on that 23 Feb 1984? (Btw what's the difference between being independent from the UK (??did they invade us?) vs being independent from British protection (which I believe is the case for Brunei). Mind you, I have a little daughter who is asking this v same question. And I have trouble answering her. And I bet many of us don't know the rationale behind this.
And precisely because of this, it really saddened me that many of our youngsters don't even know that 1 Jan 1984 WAS our first independence day (Proof: tune in to tv or radio live quiz. You will hear many wrong answers!)
Anyway, I think it's high time that our government or educator highlights these real events to all Bruneians, big and small, so that 'semangat kemerdekaan' can be felt and cherished; and so that 23 February is NOT just another day at the Padang :).
Regards, Mom of 2

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