Bandar Seri Begawan was abuzz with visitors from all walks of life to witness the colourful 39th National Day celebration yesterday at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien yesterday.
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 graced the ceremony.
Accompanying His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah.
His Majesty was greeted upon arrival by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad, as the Chairman of the 39th National Day Celebration Executive Committee.
The event began with the national anthem sung by Raja Isteri Girls High School choir.
His Majesty then inspected the guard of honour before the ceremony continued with a march past by 3,900 participants comprising national security agencies, people with different abilities, senior citizens, local ethnic groups, public and private sectors, educational institutions and civil movements preceded by a giant-sized national flag.
There was a silat performance by nine national exponents who won medals at regional and international levels as well as a silat dance by 60 students from Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Primary School and Pusar Ulak Primary School.
This was followed by the reading of National Day Oath led by Awangku Md Nazirul Mubin bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman. It continued with the chant of “Allahu Akbar” three times before the parade participants vacating the field for a themed performance.
The seven-minute performance saw 120 traditional musicians play gendang, seruling and gulingtangan with 2,500 dancers accompanied by three songs – Jipin Laila Sembah, Bandar Seri Begawan and Brunei Bumi Bertuah.
This year’s celebration carried the same theme as last year – Menjayakan Wawasan Negara – which remained relevant given the Sultanate’s aim to realise Brunei Vision 2035.
The celebration emphasised on cultural heritage as the nation’s identity that remains relevant as it develops.
The event concluded with a fly past of six Blackhawks from the Royal Brunei Air Force led by Captain (U) Muhammad Adib bin Haji Hashim.
Before leaving from the venue, His Majesty and members of the royal family met parade participants and field performers.