| Azaraimy HH |
MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof urged for stronger collaboration between Department of Museums, Brunei History Centre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and the collectors community to enhance historical research and documentation.
“The target group of these (research) initiatives is the youth. As successors of preceding generations, youth must understand that historical artefacts are part of our national heritage and culture, and this notion needs to be passed down to future generations,” the minister said.
He was speaking during the International Museum Day Celebration 2017, held at the Art Gallery, Dermaga Diraja in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.
In his speech, the minister shared a hypothesis on “cultural circle”, saying that “when an idea is implemented, it becomes a creation that once it is accepted by the people, it becomes a trend or a norm. When this ‘trend’ becomes popular and continued to be practised until it becomes a lifestyle, the creation will become a culture. If the culture continues, it will then become a heritage and when this heritage is no longer carried over, it becomes a treasure in the form of historical documents or artefacts”.
“This hypothesis reflects the need to preserve the creative capability of the past generations that possessed high-level scientific and artistic capabilities,” he added.
As an example, the minister highlighted ‘Kain Tenunan Brunei’ (traditional cloth weaving), also known as ‘Kain Songket’ or ‘Kain Jong Sarat’, saying that it shows not only the skill and creativity of the weaver but also the intellectual talent of the Brunei people.
Reflecting on the theme of this year’s International Museum Day Celebration, ‘Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the Unspeakable in Museums’, he said history has played an important role in describing truth, validating facts, especially those related to the formation of a nation.
“History is the finding, collection, management and exhibition of information related to ancient events,” he noted.
The minister also highlighted the establishment of the Brunei History Centre as the authentic information source of state history.
He said both the Department of Museums and the Brunei History Centre complement each other as a source of Brunei’s history that leans on the national philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB).
He also stressed on the need for the people to value history, whether it be of the family, village, mukim, district or the country.
The event yesterday began with a welcoming address by the Acting Director of Museums Aminah binti Haji Majid, followed by the minister’s speech.
The event was enlivened by the launching of a book published by the Department of Museums, and presentation of souvenirs to retired museum officials and certificates of appreciation to contributors of materials in 2016.
During the event, the minister also toured a craft showcase that focused on the value of arts and culture in the context of globalisation. The exhibition aimed to encourage local youth artists by giving them opportunity to showcase their art creations.
The showcase attracted 30 artists whose 24 collections were exhibited by the Department of Museums.