Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Brunei Town
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Blast from the past

Daniel Lim

Celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri continues to evolve as technological advancements have made it easier for friends and family to stay in touch.

From video calls to text messages, greeting the people dearest to us during momentous occasions has gotten easier, but none is more prevalent than transportation.

Prior to the advent personal transportation, travelling to see friends and families was limited to the vicinity of the village.

For the longer trips, the older generations would depend on their bicycles to visit friends and family during Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.

As a way to relive the good old days, a group of cyclists made up of members of the Oil Town Cyclist, Panaga Foldies BN, Trio Bn and Brunei Folding Bike Club, as well as fans and owners of folding bikes recently biked across the Belait District as part of a relaxing ‘Santai Cycling’ ride.

Cyclists in festive clothing during the excursion to mark Hari Raya festivities. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
ABOVE & BELOW: A group photo at RPN Kampong Pandan Mosque; and Oil Town Cyclist member Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Abdullah reminisces about past Hari Raya celebrations

Oil Town Cyclist member Zainal Abidin bin Sahari said the ride was a continuation of a similar ride held in the Brunei-Muara District, where they toured and visited scenic and iconic locations.

“In the Belait District, we started from RPN Kampong Pandan Mosque, making our way to the Menara Cendera Kenangan via Jalan Maulana, before continuing our journey to the residence of Oil Town Cyclist member Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Abdullah located at Kampong Pandan as the finish line,” he said.

He said Santai Cycling aimed to revive the nostalgic feeling and past experience, when travel was mostly done on foot or by bicycle.

Haji Abu Bakar, who helped to organise the event, said he used to cycle during Hari Raya festivities.

“We remember when we were young, we would cycle with our parents to visit friends and family during festive occasions such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. We would count the amount of candy we received after each trip.”

He contrasted the experience with that of the present day, when personal vehicles and smartphones make connecting with friends and family much easier.

He saw the as a meaningful way to reflect on how progress the Sultanate has made, while taking the opportunity to reminisce about yesteryears.

Haji Abu Bakar noted that some cyclists opted for their trusty modern folding bikes and road bikes, others made a point to cycle with antiques.

“Classic bikes have a certain charm to them that harken back to the olden times, especially the iconic air horns and the sound of the dynamo that powers the bikelights.”

While the ride was in celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, initiatives are in the pipeline to promote cycling.

Zainal Abidin believes events, such as Bandarku Ceria, not only provides space for cyclists, they also allow for family bonding opportunities.

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