Brunei Darussalam celebrated it's twenty-five years of independence on 23rd February 2009. To celebrate the Silver Jubilee, a grand parade was held at the National Stadium, which according to BruneiLifestyle:
- 25 selected leaders from various organizations and communities read the National Day oath led by Dr Mohd Munir Faridz bin Haji Metassan.
- Nearly 25,000 participated in the celebration at the National Stadium. This is about 6 percent of the country’s population.
- 2,500 alone welcomed His Majesty where 2,000 were flag-bearers and 500 hadrah players lined the route leading to the National stadium.
- 108 teams took part in the march past totaling some 18,554 people.
Ranoadidas reported that the application for media passes from the Brunei's Information Department ” have escalated in terms of numbers and it almost reached an impressive 500 photographers excluding the foreign delegation”. The Department also “created a new segment for the new media such as bloggers”. This is a significant recognition of local bloggers as mainstream journalists in the country.
Brunei blogs are buzzing with colourful photos of the historic occasion and many bloggers are sharing their aspirations for the nation. Turquoise and Roses sees herself as more patriotic than ever through “travelling, meeting people, learning new things about our culture”. But she is also concerned on the uncertain future:
In the midst of music and dance, celebrations and jubilations, what really are we celebrating? A number. Focus our attention to the sunset, and the impending darkness, and please celebrate what our freedom has enabled us to receive.
Free high quality education, nearly free high quality healthcare, a high standard of living, and freedom to achieve dreams that our forefathers have never even dreamed of.
If darkness is to come, pray for a bright, shiny, beacon of hope, that is the moon. When we are hopeful, we are not afraid.
Peace, Love and Kindness shares his aspirations for the country:
It is going to be much more meaningfully significant since this year’s National Day is being celebrated amidst national concerns on tragedies caused by nature’s heavy rains for the past couple of months. A few hundred Bruneians have been affected by big floods and landslides across the nation. Internationally, too, our oil/natural gas-rich nation would be directly or indirectly affected by the worsening global economic and financial woes. Prudent spending would be the buzzword nowadays. On the other hand, Government spending and Foreign Direct Investments would have to be pushed through in robust passion, if only to stimulate the national economy.
KB Happening aspires for Brunei to
achieve greater levels of future economic growths and social progress.. Insya-Allah. And let’s continue living in unprecedented peace and unity.. I’m proud to be a Bruneian! :)
The Scripted Destiny says :
It's been 25 years since our Independence in 1984. Brunei Darussalam has developed massively and changes between now and 25 years ago can be seen. Congratulation Brunei!
zysazy wrote :
People sometimes complain that there are limited entertainment, shopping malls, places to go to in Brunei, but one thing for sure, there is no place like home and I am proud to be called a Bruneian.
Mudahan Brunei will remain peaceful and diberkati. Amin.
May Brunei remain peaceful and blessed.”
Muizo blogs about his feelings on this important day:
Personally, being in an independent country to me means a lot. It reflects the virtues of freedom, pride, dignity and honour, all roll up into one. I feel more blessed that Brunei, despite her size, is still the envy of other countries for her prosperity, the wealth of the ‘black gold’ and for the peace and tranquility we tend to have. Its just few of those things that makes us stand out from others.Usually, National Day promotes the feeling of love to the country which are orchestrated and displayed patriotically in the mass media and along the roads where lights illuminate the surroundings with its colourful spectrum. But memorably, the culmination of the National Day celebration is usually the vivid performances done by the students and volunteers during the day itself.In my opinion, performances done during the National Day speaks volume of how patriotic Bruneians are in the sense that people from all over the districts would tirelessly come together and participate the Day where the country remembers her autonomy from Britain on 1st January 1984. I, myself have a particular account of my own participation in National Day events. Unforgettably, it was held at the evening, where the colours and lights appeal more. Months of practice came about to perfect our movements for the celebration. We had exposed to endless hours of fatigue, sunburnt as well as sleep deprivation (since it was done at night, practices too were held until late night) But more importantly, what was unearthed to us was the feeling of love and the desire to do it as well the joy to commit for our beloved country.I would like to recount the words of my former English teacher, a South-African-Indian, who personally told me that,” You don't know what you have, until you lose it…”, in his views of how fond he is with Brunei, for her constant tranquility and serenity, yet most young people he met never seemed to be grateful of and took it for granted. He told me that although South Africa is a modern nation, it is unfortunately fueled with all sorts of social problems, which became known to us in news and movies. And his coming to Brunei was much of a shock as he did not expect Brunei to be so laid back.Moments like these make you to look up and see the world in a bigger picture, that you are grateful of how the country has turned up to be in comparison other countries.Perhaps that's the kind of Maturity that the country is achieving and I hope to maintain. The Sultan has envisaged the 2035 vision, which is a generalised description of Brunei's long-term vision. Let us gather and participate to realise the vision. Last but not least, Happy National Day!
Photographs by Senor Pablo