One of the things we all look forward to during His Majesty’s birthday celebration is our sleepy towns being brought to life by the annual Gerai Perayaan, held in all four districts until the end of the month.
The Sutera team ventured out to join the festivities in Brunei-Muara District, where the stretch of stalls started from the Lapau building all the way to Taman Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien.
What singles out Gerai Perayaan from other mini-festivals in Brunei is the stage performances held every night. A performance that caught our eye that night was ‘Pentarama’, which is a stage act that combines dance with a short sketch that gives a message to the audience.
Pentarama performances is not just unique to Brunei-Muara District, as other districts such as Belait, Tutong and Temburong also conduct their own version of Pentarama performances.
The inexpensive yet plentiful food is the main draw to Gerai Perayaan. Patrons can find a lot of unique food and drinks that are not sold in any stores. These are usually made by a local entrepreneur trying to gain more income by joining the festivals.
We spoke to Muhd Abdul Muiz of Mukam Group, who sells their own version of Korean fried chicken. He said that his involvement in these events have allowed people to familiarise with their brand and experiment their recipes to the public.
“The festival at Lapau is one of the biggest draws of the public during the His Majesty’s birthday celebration, so it is a good place for business owners to advertise their food and brand to them,” said Abdul Muiz.
The festival not only attracted local entrepreneurs, but also allowed neighbouring countries to take part in introducing their products to the locals. We came across Rohani Hj Eling, who sold coffee from Sabah called Pelat Coffee.
“I brought a version of coffee from Sabah called Pelat Coffee, this kind of event is good for us because it allows entrepreneurs to gain more income and since this coffee is still new to Bruneians, these kind of events opens up an opportunity to introduce the product to the locals here,” she said.
This year, there were about 100 vendors selling various items from sweet and savoury food to artworks. Be sure to check it out before it ends on 31st July 2019!