Lest We Forget


Compiled by Zainul Akmal Zaini

Keeping hadrah beat alive

Rohani Hj Abdul Hamid

OCTOBER 22, 2009 – Twelve groups from various schools competed in the 33rd Final Hadrah competition for all primary schools nationwide at the multi-purpose hall of Nakhoda Ragam Vocational School yesterday.

Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Pengiran Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, the guest of honour, presented prizes to the winners.

The guest of honour in his speech said that hadrah, although extrinsically looks easy and simple, still requires proper knowledge on the method and style of playing or beating, such as recognising the basic counts and so forth.

“Obviously, when we beat the tar we are going to sing specific songs so it ought to be preserved properly so that it wouldn’t change from one generation to the other,” he said.

“Apart from that, if the lyrical content gives praises to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), it should become a priority to correctly pronounce the verses and names so that the meanings will not be different.

Guest of honour Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Pengiran Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar speaks at the event.
Students from a school perform at the competition. PHOTOS: ROHANI HJ ABDUL HAMID

“From what I have observed, there are still some errors in the pronunciation. This aspect should be carefully considered by teachers or hadrah instructors during training.”

He added, “Today, hadrah is not only performed during wedding ceremonies or any celebratory events. In fact, it is also performed during any welcoming events for VIPs, government dignitaries and tourists.

“I call on all enthusiasts to make an effort to inculcate the love of hadrah to the students, especially at the primary school level, to ensure this culture won’t go into oblivion.”

Kiarong Primary School won the competition while Lambak Kanan Jalan 49 Brunei II Primary School and Dato Marsal Primary School Brunei II came in second and third place, respectively.

The programme aimed to introduce and develop interest among students on playing hadrah; to inculcate and preserve the culture so that it will develop in line with the advancement of science and technology; and to discover students’ skills, especially in playing the instrument.

Students learn importance of history, forensics through tombstone tracing

Mohammad Abdullah

OCTOBER 14, 2009 – Year Seven students of Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) College were given the opportunity yesterday to document and record 17th Century tombstones as part of their practical course, as well as to expose them to some historical documentation techniques.

Personnel led by Assistant Investigative Officer Haji Irwan bin Haji Osmar from the Historic Centre Department demonstrated the use of tracing or casting methods on the tombstones as ways to document and analyse ancient tombstones for historic documentations.

Haji Irwan said the tombstones are particularly special because not only are they beautifully engraved but they also contain information about the resident of the grave.

The tombstone is a perfect tool for demonstrating one of the techniques that archaeologists and archive department officials use in recording and documenting historical information in the field.

The investigators would then dig up historic files to trace back the origins of the tombstone’s owner.

The experience opened the students’ eyes, for they now understand the use of tracing and, with the demonstration given by the centre’s personnel, they also understand why history and forensics are important.

Sample tracing of a tombstone made by the Historic Centre Department.
The students learn casting methods as part of their practical course. PHOTOS: MOHAMMAD ABDULLAH

More youth exploring business world

Azaraimy HH

OCTOBER 9, 2009 – It is encouraging to see more youth in Brunei Darussalam taking an interest in business.

Chairman of the Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Board Pengiran Haji Mohd Ali bin Pengiran Haji Othman, the guest of honour at the official opening of the fourth Youth Development Centre ‘Entrepreneurship Week’ yesterday, said this shows that the young people of Brunei can “stand on their own two feet” and are able to take on life’s challenges.

Since 1996, many trainees at the Youth Development Centre have ventured into the business world. It was learnt that 22 trainees who attended the first session of the Youth Skill Development Programme were given a ‘micro grant’ to start their own business.

The Chairman of the Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Board also touched on the importance of being honest and sincere when doing business. Without these two attributes, he said, entrepreneurs will not be able to gain the confidence of their customers. This, in turn, would impact negatively on their clientele, he warned.