Despite the weather forecast that indicated rain, people from all four districts packed the streets of the capital without fail, either to participate or witness the celebration of Brunei’s 35th National Day. As early as 4.00 in the morning, people were already slowly filling up the capital and joined the mass fajr prayer at Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque.
The arrival of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam signified the commencement of the event, which was followed by the National Anthem performed by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces band.
Over 25,000 people joined the annual procession, consisting of 147 groups that began with uniformed groups such as the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Royal Brunei Police Force, followed by students and teachers from educational institutions in the country, as well as government organisations and private sectors.
The National Oath this year was led by Dr Muhammad Nuriskandar Muhammad Hasnan, the President of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Guild of Graduates.
The field performances were mainly participated by youths of Brunei, where they created various images that showcased the country’s past, and also hopes for the future, in line with the theme ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’.
Siti Mar Atussholiha Muhammad Isa, a member of Association of Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (BERSATU), said that this is her fourth time in joining the march past for the National Day, yet she is still proud to take part and hopes that her patriotic spirit continues on in the years to come.
“As a youth myself, we are an important asset to the country in order to reach the National Vision 2035, and we need to contribute to the country in any way possible,” Siti Mar added.
A known crowd-pleaser were the colourful installations of #nbd35 that could be found in the capital. Drawn to them like moths to a flame, the public took the opportunity to be photographed with the works of art, which were painted by 39 talented local artists.
Although celebrated annually, the National Day is one of the most anticipated events in the country. Johannes Peter, a tourist from Germany, is spending three days in Brunei and was fortunate enough to be here at the right time.
“I see a lot of young people coming together for the event, which is uncommon to see in Germany because the vast difference in the way we celebrate things,” said Johannes.
With the presence of advanced technology, the colourful celebration will entice people from other countries to experience the event for themselves. The enthusiastic performances by the youth and the amount of effort that goes to creating the event a success will make the country optimistic towards achieving Vision 2035.