My heart skips a beat at the view that is just so satisfying to see, knowing that just 34 years ago, on January 1, Brunei Darussalam achieved its independence, thanks to the country’s powerful leadership
| Shamita Tanushri Sures |
Being born and raised in Brunei Darussalam, I am what you could call a patriotic Brunei resident. Although I am a Malaysian, I love Brunei with all my heart.
So, every year on February 23, my family and I raise the Brunei national flag at home to celebrate the wonderful country that Brunei has become.
I still remember, in 2011, I managed to persuade my parents to watch the National Day march-past. The four of us stayed at what was Sheraton Hotel back then (which is now Radisson Hotel) so that we could wake up and walk to the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan.
On the night before February 23, I could barely sleep a wink due to the excitement of witnessing the National Day celebration the next day.
The next day, my mother woke us all up.
We decided that my father and I should walk to what was then the Padang Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (now Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien) first while my mother and brother have breakfast at the hotel.
So as planned, my father and I started walking.
I examined the ambience around me and immediately fell in love with the sights of flags and uniformed personnel, as well as the patriotism shown by everyone.
Soon, after walking under the rays of the raging late morning sun, my father and I reached the Padang Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien. I was overwhelmed by the happenings around me.
I felt so immensely proud of Brunei and its achievements. All that the country has been through, has finally led to the sight before me. And, oh, it was awesome!
Even though I was so short at that time, I could still catch glimpses of the march-past happening. People from the military with badges pinned all over their uniforms, fire fighters with their heads held high and so many other parades of uniformed personnel.
Be it the government sector, the private sector, schools – everyone was there!
Soon, our legs started hurting from standing too long and we were nearly on the verge of melting from the heat (how did the marchers survive?!). So we walked back to the hotel. On the way, we saw my mother and brother.
My father and I told them what we had seen and experienced. While we chatted all the way back to the hotel, I thought about what an amazing country Brunei is.
I also remember two years ago, on National Day, when I got to wave the Brunei national flag by the road side with all the other Year 6 students from my school at Chung Hwa Middle School.
My mother woke me up at about five in the morning and we drove to the school to get briefed about the flag waving. Then, at around 8.30am, my friends, teachers and I walked to Bandar Seri Begawan. We stopped in front of the post office and waited for 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, to arrive.
We could even see a few helicopters flying in the sky around the area.
Soon, His Majesty came and we started waving our mini Brunei national flags.
After watching the march-past and other performances, we started waving again. It was really a brilliant day.
And now as my family and I drive to school every day, we cross the bridge that connects the Brunei River, near the High Court, the Brunei national flags waving majestically to the rhythm of the wind.
My heart skips a beat at the view that is just so satisfying to see, knowing that just 34 years ago, on January 1, Brunei Darussalam achieved its independence, thanks to the country’s powerful leadership. I believe that Brunei Darussalam has a bright future ahead of it. Happy 34th National Day, everyone!