The Junjung Ziarah or get-together ceremony held in conjunction with the 75th birthday celebration 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 is one of the most unique and significant events to take place in the country.
For those who take part, the opportunity to be directly involved and participate as well as extend personal greetings during the Junjung Ziarah is a great honour and memorable experience.
The get-together ceremony reflects the strong bond between the monarch and the people of Brunei Darussalam. For years, the ceremony that has been carried out in the four districts is one of the anticipated events, as it serves as a medium for the people to celebrate the joyous occasion with the benevolent ruler.
Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari told the Bulletin, “Alhamdulillah, we all expressed our gratitude towards His Majesty for the support and concern towards the well-being of the country’s youth.”
Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa explained that various youth development and progress have been visible in these recent years, highlighting the launch of the Youth National Policy and Strategy last year, which has enhanced the role of youth in delivering and sharing ideas in the policymaking process.
“For this, it is important for youth to not only be seen as the country’s future leaders, but also individuals equipped with the potential to generate ideas that can assist the country in shaping its future.
“Judging by those present at the Junjung Ziarah, we can clearly see the involvement of youth in making contributions such as field performances,” she said.
Speaking with the Bulletin during the ceremony on Sunday, Acting Village Head of Kampong Sengkarai and a Brunei Youth Council member Abdul Aziz bin Haji Hamdan said the get-together is a tradition that should be appreciated and understood by the younger generation.
He saw the get-together as a medium to extend gratitude and undivided loyalty towards the beloved monarch.
“The celebration also coincides with National Youth Day, demonstrating how youth are working together in ensuring development, success, progress, as well as organising activities to achieve the mission of their goals.
“The ceremony also serves as an expression towards the monarch by providing the infrastructure and facilities for youth development in the country,” he said.
The acting village head, who is also active in youth engagement, explained that youth activities today are more forward than ever before, as they are entrusted with responsibilities, such as holding leading roles as LegCo members as well as assuming positions as village chiefs, some aged below 30.
“We should appreciate and be grateful of this opportunity,” he said. “With such trust put on youth, the Junjung Ziarah is the best platform for us to show our appreciation for His Majesty.”
He added, “With the leadership that has been entrusted to us, such as the acting village head, we must show not only at the grassroots level but at national level that these youth can lead.”
Abdul Aziz also advised youth to actively involve themselves in associations or movements coordinated by the government, private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to acquire experience, life skills and guidance.
Through such involvement, he said youth could indirectly gain experience outside of the classroom, adding that “they could start their first steps by taking part in the mukim and village consultative council activities and get involved in volunteering activities”.
Meanwhile, Girl Guides Association of Brunei Darussalam (PPPNBD) member Kaniz binti Abdul Shakoor said the association will always fully support the get-together ceremony.
“PPPNBD is always ready to contribute and participate. As we all know, the ceremony is observed according to guidelines and standard operating procedures issued by the Ministry of Health amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Alhamdulillah, we were able to participate according to the quota set,” she said.
On youth participation in enlivening the get-together ceremony, Kaniz believed youth play a significant role as assets of the country, adding that “PPPNBD involved all of our youth, including ranger guides and young leaders so that they could gain experience, knowledge and absorb the ceremony’s atmosphere”.