| Abdul Hakiim Yakof |
STUDENTS and former students of Chung Hwa Middle School (CHMS) had a blast enlivening the Tiong Hua community’s Chinese New Year (CNY) get-together, with performances following the ‘Innovative Youth as the Prime Mover of National Vision’ concept, which combines unique Brunei traditions with the latest innovation.
The event opened with a Hadrah performance, and was followed by the singing of the national anthem by the school’s brass band, and the ‘Ikrar Taat Setia’ oath reading.
After the traditional Tiong Hua dance performance involving firecrackers and a lantern formation, as well as a lion dance, the guests were treated to a CNY song performance and a Syair delivered by students.
Young students of the CHMS Wushu extracurricular activity then showcased their acrobatic and martial art skills in the ‘Panda’ performance.
A contemporary dance dubbed ‘Thousand Yachts are Sailing’ told the story of how the ancestors of the Tiong Hua community of today landed in the Sultanate.
After the traditional Malay ‘bermukun’ performance, the dance troupe performed the Malay dance ‘kesubukan,’ which combines modern dance moves and tells of how youngster behave towards their elders and society.
Following this was the ‘Let the Earth Resound’ performance, believed to bring happiness and prosperity.
Speaking to the Bulletin, former student Aizat Rosli said, “We’ve been performing for the Tiong Hua Chinese New Year get-together for seven years now and we still get nervous – even though you can say we are experienced.
“We are fortunate to have performed in front of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam,” he added.
“We staged three dance performances at the event. We are relieved, knowing that we were able to deliver despite some of us feeling under the weather,” said dance troupe member Bryan Wong.
Dance troupe member Limyi Shien said, “Although the Chinese are a minority in Brunei, it’s nice that His Majesty takes notice, coming down to join in the celebration.
Chen Hui Yen, performance coordinator, said, “This year we had a combination of Chinese and Malay performances as Brunei is home to different religions and races. We are trying to express a sense of unity, showing that we can all live peacefully together.
“Some 250 students and former students performed this year. We are very happy and appreciate that His Majesty is always able to join us in this celebration. We are honoured to have performed for His Majesty, it means a lot to the students,” she added.