Archive for the ‘national pride’ Category


Who’s who, who are you? :.

June 5, 2007

So I’m watching the live coverage of the royal wedding on TV.. it’s like watching the’ Tatler’ for Brunei.. Anybody who’s anyone.. or related to the anyone’s is there.. It’s fun because I’m playing ‘spot who you know’ and I’ve seen my parents twice.. They’re sitting in the front row of somewhere..

It’s kinda interesting if you haven’t witnessed it before.. All these traditions and ceremonies, which I’m really proud of btw.. It is part of my heritage.. quite literally.. If you go a few generations back in my bloodline on my Dad’s side.. we’re descended from one of the Sultan’s.. and on my Mom’s side too… though the heritage there is mighty diluted.

I might be descended from kings.. but I’m quite happy being an ordinary person.. My given title is just a formality now, and has no real significance or importance.. The actual titles end with my dad.. and unless I marry an Awangku, it’ll be up to my brother to carry on the Ak’s and Dk’s to his children.. As much as I’d like to give my children the titles, so they know where they came from, I don’t think I’ll be marrying an Ak… Hehe.. I’m happy with my ordinary Malaysian man.. who wants to live a quiet life with his happy to be ordinary Bruneian woman..

Anyway.. all this pomp and ceremony is really cool.. It’s so amazing when you have a very rich cultural heritage, it gives meaning to your nation’s history, and for me personally, it gives me a deep sense of national pride.. I may be critical of certain things in my country, like small mindedness, nepotism, resistance to change.. etc.. But that’s because I love Brunei and I want things to change for the better and move forward.

All this may be boring to those familiar with it, but to the outside observer.. there are so many small details.. like why is there a lady carrying a candle ahead of the royal bride? And what do all those men with the spears and shields mean? Etc.. What is interesting is that once you take away the royal frills, you see some of the basic ceremonies that are including in any decent Malay wedding.. so everyone is not that different after all..

Today’s ceremony is ‘Berbedak.’ It’s not one of those ceremonies exclusive to royalty, I’ll have it in my wedding… Except.. I won’t have someone announcing every single movement and moment that’s happening.. hehe.. Like what’s going on now..

The ‘Berbedak’ is where close family and elders paint coloured powders/chalk on the bride/groom’s hands. It is a sort of blessing, I think.. In a sense, you recognise your elders, and you seek them to recognise your wedding which is why usually elder members of the family and extended family tree are asked to do so. It’s also great, because it’s one of the more relaxed ceremonies (except maybe in this royal instance).. For us ordinary mortals, the ‘Berbedak’ becomes partly a joke, as some don’t just chalk the hands, but the face too.. Hehe…

During the ceremony, there is ‘zikir Marhaban.’ It’s also traditional to have ‘bunga rampai’, (a mixture of fragrant flowers and leaves), which people take after they have painted the bride/groom..

You kinda wonder if his Majesty is having this ‘fatherly’ moment.. similar to what my dad experienced during my sister’s wedding.. at least HM has several other kids to marry off.. My dad has just got me left as the lone girl.. and I know he has a mixture of feelings when my day happens..

As for HM.. it’s emotional when one of your children go through a rite of passage.. royal or not..

Right.. I gonna try and spot my dad again.. laters..