Thousands thronged the capital on Sunday, braving the heat and geared with patriotic spirit during the sultanate’s 36th National Day celebration held at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien.
The much-anticipated annual event was graced by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam whose arrival brought joy and excitement to the people.
His Majesty was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.
After the monarch’s arrival, the national anthem “Allah Peliharakan Sultan” echoed through the capital, infusing more pride and love for the country in every Bruneian.
Prior to the colourful field performance, His Majesty the Sultan inspected the royal guard of honour mounted by personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).
Over 30,000 people took part in the grand assembly, comprising of 161 teams of march-past participants and over 7000 on-field performers.
Also taking part in the parade were His Majesty’s daughters Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah along with Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar, leading the Bruneian contigent of the recent Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019.
Furthermore, the royal entourage and spectators were entertained by colourful and energetic field performances that were divided into two segments; ‘Alun Genderang’ and ‘Accomplishing the National Vision’.
The performances showcased the efforts to nation-building by assessing aspects of development and involving the younger generation hand in hand to protect our beloved country while also responding to the challenges of technological advancements as well as the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
Participants and spectators alike came as early as 5am to the capital, not wanting to miss the opportunity to watch the show.
Speaking to The Bruneian, a representative from the Lun Bawang community from the National Development Party (Parti Pembangunan Bangsa) said that as a first-timer at the parade, she surely felt ecstatic joining the march-past with her two aunts, donning the Lun Bawang traditional costume.
For Ellin Chong, the vice president of Women Affairs of the Malaysian Association in Brunei said that the team is proud to also celebrate the auspicious day with the Bruneian communities.
“We have been participating for more than 10 years, and we are really proud that we are able to stay in this lovely country and to celebrate the national day every year,” she said.
Not only the locals and residents were excited, but tourists too.
Travellers from the United Kingdom, Oliver and Jemma said that they did not know about the national celebration and it was a beautiful coincidence.
“We arrived in the country few days ago and we don’t want to miss the opportunity when we found out about it. I love how harmonious the people are and see the King up close,” they said.
Before leaving the field, His Majesty the Sultan and members of the royal family mingled with the participants and the public.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN